Aces Soccer Report From Coach Ed Berberich:
The Soccer Aces hosted Harrisburg Thursday in their first home match in a travel heavy season, going up big early and winning 9-0. Checco Terna scored the first goal 3 minutes into the match for the quick lead. Beau Stipp scored in the 8th minute on an assist from Britton Heinrich, aided by a key pass from Checco. Then, starting in the 14th minute, the Aces scored 6 goals in 8 minutes to put the game away. Iacopo Clementi started the flurry off by scoring on an assist from Ethan Belt. Belt would follow with a goal on an assist from Heinrich, with Clementi then scoring his 2nd goal of the match, also assisted by Heinrich. Heinrich then got on the scoring side with an assist from Checco, followed by Belt scoring on an assist from Rayce Loudermilk. Lucas Hall completed the scoring outburst, nailing a penalty kick after a Bulldog foul in the goal box. When all was said and done the Aces had an 8 goal lead 22 minutes into the match, which is how the 1st half ended. Ethan Belt completed the scoring in the 2nd half, netting his 3rd goal for the hat trick, and giving the Aces the final score and the 9-0 win. The Aces took 24 shots, 15 on frame, created 11 additional scoring chances, took 3 corner kicks and had 6 interceptions. Harrisburg took 1 shot, it being on frame.
We started off a little flat in our defensive pressure up high but, with the attacking ability we have, were still able to score to give us the early lead. We need to come out a little stronger in that regard because we don't want to develop bad habits. The games will start getting harder at some point and we need to be ready for that. With the Big 8 breaking up we lost some solid-to-great opponents that we really wish we had on the schedule, because this team is good enough that they need to be pushed by the opposition at this point. When we played Teutopolis, which was a solid team, we really stepped up and played with an intensity that's been a little lacking at times since. These guys have put a lot of work into getting where they are now, and the hardest thing at this point may be pushing themselves to start these games off with a bit more intensity, regardless of the opponent. That being said, I'm really happy with how unselfishly we've been playing. We've been working with this group on our passing and possession game the last couple years and this season they've really taken to it. They're playing together excellently, moving the ball all over the field and not worrying too much about who scores but rather seeking out the best options generally. We've got 11 different players who have scored for us and 7 players with 3 or more goals, so if we can continue to involve all of the talent that we have then we should be able to find success and be tough to stop.
In the following JV match, the Aces won 3-0. We were missing a couple of strong players from the younger group, due to injury and other sporting events, so we spoke with the Bulldogs coach and decided that we would take a couple volunteers from the older players to fill in. We put them in positions that they don't normally play at and, because of them, were able to get in a full 11 v 11 JV match. Two of those players combined on the 1st goal of the match when Tye Kanipe scored on an assist from Brady Decker. Decker then scored a goal on an assist from Drake Colbert. Eli Bertram scored the final goal on a header off a corner kick taken by Colbert that glanced off of Kanipe and found Bertram for the aerial finish. Obviously the older players in the match, even playing out of position, had an impact on the game but the younger players all played well. They kept the ball on the Harrisburg side of the field for most of the match and gave themselves a lot of scoring opportunities. This was the first time we got to see them together and against a JV opponent, so I was interested in seeing how they would do, and they looked pretty good considering. They did a good job of passing the ball around, just like we we've been working on, so that was encouraging. We have 6 more JV contests scheduled for the season, so these will all be great opportunities to see the younger guys when they're expected to shoulder the load out there rather than blending in with the more experienced players.
The Aces now stand 6-0 (JV 1-0) on the season, with the next event being another back-to-back Varsity/JV contest at home at noon on Saturday 9/7/19 against Massac County.