• 64°

NSA drops third game of season

The Saints, who dropped to 0-3-1, had no idea how to deal with David Rouleau. The junior forward has scored nine goals in just two games this season and could be one of the region’s best players even if he’s playing for a small, private school in Chesapeake.

“We tried, but that boy gets himself into open space and he’s very dangerous when he gets the ball,” said first-year NSA coach Arthur Truesdell.

Rouleau plays club soccer for the Beach FC organization and pulled Atlantic Shores into a 1-1 tie with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Saints’ Zach Taves had opened the scoring in the eighth minute.

Parker Babiy scored three minutes after Rouleau’s first tally to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. NSA’s Vinny Hochstrasser sent a long blast under the crossbar six minutes before halftime to produce a 3-1 lead, but Rouleau beat Saints’ goalkeeper Jacob Branchaud from a sharp angle two minutes before intermission and the hosts led 3-2 at the break.

By that time, Truesdell had seen more than enough of Rouleau. He decided to shadow the sniper wherever he went in the second half, first assigning Chris Sharrett and then Ben Willis the task. It didn’t matter, for Rouleau split the NSA defense and scored with 28 minutes to play to pull Atlantic Shores (2-3-1) into a 3-3 tie.

With about 10 minutes to play, Rouleau struck with another score.

Running onto a through ball sent into the right side of the Saints’ box, Rouleau held off Curtis Hanson with his left arm and slammed a low shot inside the left post just before another defender closed on his right side.

“I could see him coming in my peripheral vision so I had to take it quick,” Rouleau said. “It’s a good thing I’m right-footed.”

NSA will need to be resilient, for it plays four games in the next week.

“We’re trying to build things tactically but we also have to build morale,” said Truesdell, who’s assisted by Ian Patrick, formerly the girls coach of Massachusetts prep powerhouse Tabor Academy. “We know we’re going to take some lumps this season, but at the same time we’re not looking ahead to next year.”