Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Canterbury's Connor Davidson, left, and South Adams' Leo Palomo fight for the ball during the first half of Monday's Class A boys sectional match at Blackhawk Christian.
Tuesday, October 02, 2018 1:00 am
Boys sectional soccer Canterbury 6 South Adams 0
Cavs cruise to start title defense
Starfires' inability to clear ball early leads Canterbury rout
VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette
Canterbury did what it needed to and a little extra Monday, beating South Adams 6-0 in the first round of the Blackhawk Christian Class A boys soccer sectional.
“We started a little slow, and didn't move the ball as well as we should, but we got better,” Canterbury coach Greg Mauch said. “I thought, all in all, it was a decent performance. As long as we can keep the ball moving, we're OK.”
Johnathan Bowen struck first for the defending Class A state champs in the sixth minute, taking advantage of a Starfires defense that had trouble clearing the ball early. Paul Helmich scored in the 15th minute, again from right in front of the goal, and Justin Baeten chipped the ball into the net halfway through the period to put the Cavaliers (6-7-4) up 3-0.
Bowen scored once more before halftime and was substituted out of the game after scoring in the second minute of the second half. Freshman Luke Ruediger scored on a rebound less than a minute later, eliciting the biggest cheers from the stands all night.
“He's the first freshman to score on our team, so it's pretty exciting,” said Canterbury senior goalkeeper Clayton Perry. “I think that guys who haven't scored all season, just getting opportunities and actually scoring, that's really exciting to see guys improving over the season and finally scoring, especially in the postseason.”
South Adams (1-14) goalkeeper Curtis Sprunger made several athletic stops in the second half to prevent further damage. The Starfires had two legitimate scoring chances after falling behind 6-0 but failed to capitalize and finish their season having scored just seven goals.
In addition to his goal in the first half, Baeten had two assists, as did Lukas Reelsen. Connor Davidson had one assist. Perry, the goalie, rarely had to touch the ball, especially in the first half.
It was the sort of performance that Canterbury hoped for – but wasn't guaranteed – against an opponent that hadn't won since its first match of the season.
“A really good coach that I knew back in high school once told me that you put more pressure on kids in a game that you don't expect to be as difficult,” Mauch said. “The bigger the game, the less pressure you put on them, because they'll put enough on themselves. So we were riding the guys pretty hard to make sure they took this game seriously.”
The Cavaliers are now set to face Lakewood Park Christian, which beat Whitko 9-0 earlier Monday, in the second round of the sectional. Canterbury has faced the Panthers (7-7-4) once this season, winning 1-0.
“It was a very good game,” Mauch said of the match, which the Cavaliers won in Auburn last month. “It's a bit of a toss up.”