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Behind Rimple, Kids blank Salisbury

Understanding body language is a valuable commodity in many aspects of life, and that ability to decipher physical intent is something Northampton goalkeeper Brady Rimple used in Saturday’s win over Salisbury.

Facing a penalty shot late in the second half against the Flacons, Rimple observed the shooter and immediately assessed the direction in which he was aiming.

“I saw him open his hips, so I know he was going to go this way,” said Rimple, demonstrating the position a right-footed kicker with his hips open would take when approaching the ball. “So then I dived that way and made the save.”

The ball sailed toward the left side of the goal, a shot that Rimple clearly anticipated. His ability to read the shooter preserved the shutout. Rimple’s diving stop allowed the Kids to leave the field with a 3-0 win.

Head coach Ryan Brazuk said that his senior goalkeeper was zeroed in as the ball was put in play on the penalty kick.

“He read it like a book,” said Brazuk. “He knew where to go, read his body language, and guessed right. It was a great save.”

Rimple said that if a player opens their hips, that usually means they’re going to go a certain way, depending on which leg strikes the ball. Conversely, if they keep their hips closed, the ball will travel the other way. It’s just another tool in his goalkeeper toolbox that helps him stay sharp.

Rimple, a three year vet between the posts, said that the win demonstrated some good defensive play that helped spur their attack.

“I think we played well,” said Rimple who recorded his second shutout of the year. “We possessed [the ball] around the back. We didn’t just kick the ball long. We built up through the middle and played through balls, and finished chances.”

It was the third win for the Kids, evening their overall record to 3-3. As the season has progressed, Rimple sees them becoming stronger as a unit.

“I think we’re getting better and better each game,” said Rimple.

With the win, he believes that they can go into this week’s match against Liberty (6-0) with a positive mindset.

Another aspect to Rimple’s game is communication. He’s like a general on the field, making sure everyone’s aware what’s happening around them. He lets them know if an opposing player’s making a run behind them, if they have time to turn, and if anyone’s pressing them hard to just turn back, avoiding that oncoming pressure.

Brazuk said that Friday’s loss to Stroudsburg was tough, and down a man, his squad couldn’t bring it together to defeat the Mounties. He said they were up 1-0 to start the game, but the Mounties scored two unanswered goals for the 2-1 win.

With Saturday’s win, as well as their match against Stroudsburg, Brazuk said that it’s all about following how they play and their playing style.

“They just did everything,” said Brazuk. “They worked for each other; they passed the ball to each other.”

All that teamwork led to an early 3-0 lead, never allowing the Falcons to generate much offense throughout the game.

Brazuk said that they had a tough week in which they play four matches, but the kids were focused and came out strong against the Falcons. It was a productive week for the Kids, going 3-1 during that span. He wanted a perfect 4-0, but applauded their effort.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” said Brazuk.

Brazuk said that winning builds momentum, but the most important thing is work ethic. He believes his team has that. And once it merges with tactics, he believes that they’ll be an unstoppable force.

In a game from Monday, Liberty beat the Kids 2-1.

Chris Schray and Bryce Nunes scored for the Hurricanes and Isaiah Trinidad added an assist.

Press photo by Chuck HixsonBrady Rimple, shown here vs. Emmaus, had anther big game in the Kids win over Salisbury.