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Boys’ slow starts against Elmira, CG come back to bite them


October 4, 2016

Elmira and Cottage Grove edged out the Sweet Home boys 2-1 and 1-0 respectively last week in soccer.

“Should’ve won,” said Coach Eric Stutzer. “Should’ve won them both.”

Thursday at Elmira, the game was physical, very physical,” Stutzer said. “We didn’t show up to Elmira to play in the first half. The first 10 minutes we played pretty well. About 15 minutes in, we started struggling on defense.”

Elmira took advantage of it and scored its first goal, with a second goal following within five minutes. Elmira led 2-0 at halftime.

The Huskies righted their ship and played much better in the second half, Stutzer said. With that, the intensity spiked.

“They had come up 2-0,” Stutzer said. “And they started feeling a lot of pressure.”

Elmira was trying to protect its lead, and things became more physical, Stutzer said. Physical games are good, but teams need to be careful when it comes to play safety.

The Huskies did a good job of keeping their heads, Stutzer said, although a brawl did form in on the field at one point.

One player on each side probably should have had a red card, Stutzer said, but overall, the refs did a good job.

Austin Stevens scored the ball for the Huskies about 15 minutes into the second half.

It was a great play down the sideline, Stutzer said. The ball went in, and Stevens followed and finished the play.

Offense looked good throughout the game, he said. He had stand-out play from Noah Dinsfriend and Rawlins Lupoli, and Levi Hernandez played extremely well in his first full varsity game. Hernandez was up from JV to cover for injuries.

Austin Parrish and Wes Parker went out with injuries during the game. Parrish didn’t return that night. Noah Webb and Bradley Hilburn were both off with injuries.

At Cottage Grove Sept. 27, the Huskies played well but a momentary lapse on defense let the Lions score their only goal. Strong play from Cottage Grove’s keeper preserved their win.

Jasper Nichols-Ferguson mowed people over about 15 minutes into the game, Stutzer said. He moved into position and “took a really great shot that was able to get past Rowland Lupoli.”

Rawlins Lupoli was hurt during the play, Stutzer said.

“If not the best game we’ve played this year, it was one of the best,” Stutzer said. Offense and defense looked good. “Their keeper came up huge. He made some saves that were unreal.”

For the last 25 to 30 minutes, he made kept making he saves as Quinn Disnfriend moved from defense to offense with Ramon Mateo, Alonso Perez and Stevens brought some of the team’s best combination action to the Cottage Grove goal.

In one play, the Huskies had three shots on goal. The Lions goalie stopped one. The Huskies took a second shot at it, and he hit the ground to stop it. When the Huskies took their third shot, he still managed to get a hand on the ball.

“He saved the game for them,” Stutzer said. If nothing else happened this season, he would get Stutzers vote in for all-league honors.

The Huskies are 2-3 in league, tied for fourth with Junction City.

“We’re still in it,” Stutzer said. “It would’ve been nice to get one of those wins on the road, but it’s up in the air. It’s anybody’s league this year.”

Sisters is undefeated in league play. Elmira, at 3-1-1, is in second place. Cottage Grove is 2-2-1 in third place. Sutherlin has not won a game and is sixth.

The Huskies begin the second round of league play at 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Junction City. They will host Sisters at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.


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