Clintonville’s boys varsity soccer team hosted conference rival Freedom on Thursday, Aug. 26, and came away with a solid win.
The 2010 Truckers have revamped their offense to take advantage of an improved skill level, yet rely on a staunch defense to keep the opponent in check.
The conference opener saw Clintonville score first, with Juan Hernandez drilling a direct kick past the Freedom Keeper at the 31:30 mark of the first period. Both teams traded opportunities, and Freedom tied the score with eight minutes left until halftime.
Neither team could mount much offense in the balance of the period, and the score at half-time was 1-1.
Clintonville came out with more energy in the second stanza, and mid-fielder John Schultz converted a crossing pass from Steven Davies to score the Truckers second goal. The Truckers third goal came on a beautiful give-and-go from forward Dominic Masiarchin to Davies. Davies finished the game’s scoring by taking a lead pass from Defender Blake Persha and beating the Freedom goalie to the short side. Goalie Connor Ford limited the Freedom scoring by notching 12 saves.
Thursday’s victory leaves the Truckers’ record at 1-1-1; with three games scheduled coming up at the Gresham Tournament.
“We’re still trying to fit some new players in to positions, as well as change our offense to a more ball-control style. We’ll continue to work on our passing, which is key to this style of play,” said Coach Roger Lupien. “I saw major improvement in our outside players, Austin Paisar, Branden Andersen, and Nick Jaecks. And Steven Davies demonstrated the potential many of us have witnessed at practice the last two years. Tonight’s second half is just what we had hoped to see from this team.”
The Clintonville Boy’s Soccer season began Saturday, Aug. 21, with two games at the Shawano Soccer Invitational. The Truckers, Shawano and Middleton Varsity soccer squads held a round-robin tournament with Clintonville starting the day against Shawano.
After its first winning season, the Truckers were anxious to see how the new season, and revamped line-up, would begin. Clintonville got off to a fast start, with Senior Forward Steven Davies beating the Shawano Goalie with only three minutes off of the clock. The Truckers continued to pressure the Shawano defense throughout the first half.
Juniors Juan Hernandez and Zach Boyer each had two opportunities during the opening period, but could not convert. After the half-time break, Shawano picked up its intensity and scored their first goal at the five minute mark; tying the score at 1-1. Play on both sides became “spirited”, as the neighborhood rivalry became more prevalent. The game ended in 1-1 tie.
Trucker Goalie Connor Ford made 11 saves to give his team a chance to win the contest. The Truckers’ next opponent, Middleton, played a much different style than Shawano. Middleton scored its first goal at the 12:45 point of the first half; and was awarded a penalty kick with less than two minutes left in the first period. Unfortunately for the Truckers, Middleton converted, and took a 2-0 lead in to the half.
Clintonville played much better in the second half, with better passing and a much improved defense. Forward John Schultz and Midfielder Juan Hernandez each had chances, but were stopped by the Middleton Goalie. Senior Nick Jaecks finally got the Truckers on the board with a beautiful, left-footed blast from 30 yards out, cutting the deficit in half. Unfortunately for the Truckers, they couldn’t get another tally. Middleton finished the scoring at 3-1.
“Early tournaments like this give coaches a great opportunity to see how players work together prior to the conference games,” said Coach Roger Lupien. “I think we found some better combinations in the second game. Our defense played OK, but I know they’ll get better. This year’s offense is much different than last year’s approach, and obviously needs a lot of work. I liked the toughness displayed by both Steven Davies on offense, and Blake Persha on defense. All of us look forward to a successful season.”