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Husky boys playing tough but still looking for Sky-Em soccer win


September 27, 2017

CARLOS GALVEZ takes control of the ball, while below, Eric Blanchard crashes into an Outlaw and tries to move the ball up the field.

Sweet Home’s boys are still looking for a soccer win in league after holding off Junction City with a last-minute goal in a 1-1 tie Sept. 19 and falling to Sisters 2-0 Thursday at home.

“I was pretty pleased with how they played,” said Coach Eric Stutzer of the Junction City match. “I felt it was a game we should’ve taken home a win on.”

The Huskies had a lot of missed opportunities, which they should have capitalized on, Stutzer said.

The two teams were stalemated 0-0 through about three-quarters of the game before the Tigers were able to score a goal.

Soon, the Huskies were playing a man down after a three-man collision ended with a red card and ejection of Stewart Curtis from the game.

Rowland Lupoli came out of the goal to help his defenders, Stutzer said. It was a move that looked scary to fans, but everybody had to push if the Huskies were going to score.

With just a minute left in the game, Rawlins Lupoli pushed the ball up the field into scoring position, drawing out the Sisters goalie an drawing a foul.

“Their keeper made a very young mistake coming out and tackling him,” Stutzer said. Lupoli went inside the box and started dribbling the ball to create space for a shot.

Keeper versus keeper, Rowland Lupoli scored the penalty kick to tie the game.

“Row and Ra, both those guys showed a lot of leadership and got things done,” Stutzer said.

Junction City almost put another one in at the goal. A crowd of Huskies collapsed on the attacker and knocked the ball away as the attacker fell to the ground with a cramping leg, which may have contributed to the save.

“They’re luck we got out of that,” Stutzer said.

While he was pleased with much of what he saw, Stutzer said, “our passing wasn’t really that great, and our control were not looking very good. When we were getting offensive looks, we were just squandering them.”

Stutzer explained to examples.

In one, the Huskies had one of those looks, but two of them collided, he said; and in the second, a Husky stole the ball from from his own teammate, who was lining up the shot.

Against Sisters, a perfectly clear day turned to a hard rain as the game started.

“We had the freak start when the hail was coming down,” Stutzer said. He thinks it distracted his players, and the Outlaws capitalized on it, scoring in the first 10 seconds.

“It left us basically trying to play our of the back at that point,” Stutzer said, and again, the Huskies missed a lot of opportunities on the offensive end. “Sisters was just outrunning us to the ball. We weren’t getting enough offensive penetration to do anything.”

The Huskies started the game with Curtis out from the previous game, and Noah Webb remained sidelined due to an injury.

Owen Towry and Rowland Lupoli were both playing hurt, Stutzer said, and Lupoli had to come out after halftime.

The Huskies got a boost with the return of junior Noah Dinsfriend that day, Stutzer said, but he had to leave the field with 10 minutes left in the game.

With much of the Huskies’ defense stripped, Sisters scored about halfway through the second half.

The Huskies had a gap in defense that left Carlos Galvez “on an island,” Stutzer said.

The Lupoli brothers played “very, very well,” Stutzezr said, while JV players Zerin Owen and Evan Davis stepped up. Levi Hernandez also played “very well” in that game.

A lot of their problems stemmed from inexperience on the field, Stutzer said. That negates their ability to work on higher level tactics.

The Huskies were scheduled to visit Sutherlin Tuesday. They return to Sweet Home at 7 p.m. Thursday against Cottage Grove.

That might be the first game this season where every player is on the field, Stutzer said.

The Huskies will begin the second round of league games hosting Elmira at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5.

With a 0-1-2 record, the Huskies are fifth in league behind Elmira and Junction City, which each are 1-1-1. Cottage Grove is leading the league with a 3-0 record, while Sisters is second at 2-1. Sutherlin is 0-3 and last in league.


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