Boys soccer continues winning streak
Last updated 10/17/2023 at 10:23am
The boys soccer squad squashed two more league opponents this past week. They shut out Elmira 5-0 on the road under very rainy conditions on Tuesday, October 10, and two days later posted a 8-3 win at Central Linn. The two wins set the Outlaws up for a great final push as league play comes to a close.
In Tuesday’s contest Elmira came ready to play. Coach Jeff Husmann told The Nugget that one of the Outlaw’s strengths is the ability to identify mismatches during a game and to collectively expose those situations. That kind of play is what got the Outlaws on the scoreboard in the 20th minute when Vince Christian provided a beautiful assist to Danny Benson for the score.
Sisters continued to control play and created chances, but they struggled to finish their shots. Husmann noted that the weather and uneven terrain definitely were a factor.
The Outlaws’ second goal came on a strange play. A big deflection came off Elmira’s keeper and the ball came out approximately 35 yards. Andrew Islas hit from a distance and it arced over the keeper for the goal.
Husmann stated that he’s been very impressed with Islas’ work rate and his willingness to make runs off the ball. At the half the Outlaws held a 2-0 lead.
The rain continued in the second half, but the Outlaws remained poised and focused. They were able to penetrate the Falcons’ back line often and Elmira began to foul a bit more in an effort to stop them. This resulted in a heavy foul inside the box. Christian calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to take the Outlaws to a 3-0 lead in the 52nd minute of play.
Eight minutes later, Benson lowed his shoulder, and worked past the back line. The Falcons fouled again, Sisters got another PK, and Christian hit the shot perfectly.
An injury put Cooper Merrill on the sidelines, and sophomores Ivan Alport and Mason Dahl got a chance to contribute. Dahl got his first varsity goal in the 70th minute off a Christian assist.The 5-0 score held until the final whistle, and keeper Logan Ryba got the clean sheet.
Husmann said, “Our defense is really coming together. It’s great to have senior Austin Dean back, as he brings such energy and toughness to our defense. Our two outside backs, Evan Martin and Baylor Dyer, are really dialed in right now. They each have a unique style of play, but our back line is the key to our success.
Two days later the Outlaws played at Central Linn on another sub-par field which was small and rough. Due to the smaller field Husmann stressed the importance of playing two-touch soccer, which is pass, receive, and move off the ball to create space and opportunities. Sisters took control early, had a few looks, but couldn’t capitalize.
Husmann told The Nugget that Central Linn’s plan was to load their defense, and then play a quick counterattack to try and catch the Outlaws out of position. The Outlaw’s defense did a great job for the most part, but in the 23rd minute did give up a goal.
Husmann said, “The angle of the sun was a challenge for our goalkeeper, but they took advantage of their height and attacked the corner kick, we were caught flat-footed, and they scored with a nice header.”
The Outlaws didn’t panic, knew they had speed advantage on the wings, and started to exploit that. Just four minutes later Sisters leveled the score with a spectacular individual effort from Christian, who ripped a shot at close distance that rattled the crossbar and came out just a few yards from the goal, but scored on an incredible shot.
Husmann explained, “His back was to the goalkeeper, shielding the bouncing ball. Vince inverted himself and executed a spectacular bicycle kick into the goal. It was one of the best goals I’ve seen in a high school game.”
Teams entered the half tied 1-1.
Sisters didn’t waste any time in the second half and added goals to the scoresheet. Two minutes in, Christian scored a solo goal, and two minutes after that Merrill scored. Merrill bullied his way down the side of the field, then played off a beautiful assist from Micah Dachtler to make it a 3-1 game.
“This was the turning point as the Cobras lost their bite,” said Husmann. “I am so stoked for Cooper (Merrill). He is such a workhorse. He made the comment that it feels so good to create the goal. I love this. It’s not the goal that matters so much as how we create it as a team.”
Christian scored a solo goal in the 50th minute, and again 10 minutes later off an Islas assist.
“Micah (Dachtler) did such great, tough work down the flanks and won back the ball deep in the corner,” said Husmann. “He played a perfect pass to Andrew (Islas), who then quickly passed to Vince (Christian), who got the goal. It was such a well orchestrated pass, efficient and selfless.”
Christian scored his fifth goal of the game in the 63rd minute off a Dachtler assist. Husmann noted what a smart player Dachtler is, and stated he is versatile, studies the position he’s placed into, and knows how to find space and create opportunities.
Alport got his second varsity goal of the season in the 68th minute with an assist from Christian, and Benson scored a solo goal in the 70th minute to wrap up Sisters’ scoring spree.
The Outlaws got a bit complacent, didn’t take control of the midfield, and gave up two goals in the final 10 minutes of play.
Husman said, “What a game! Down 1-0, and then we took control of the game. We had a solid, supportive group of parents, and I’m so grateful for all they do for these kids and the team. It’s great to have the support, particularly at away games.”
The Outlaws will wrap up league play next week; the first a home contest against Pleasant Hill on Tuesday, October 17, and two days later they will celebrate their seniors at home against Creswell, who is currently the top team in the league.