Demons down the Sailors 2-0 at their homecoming match
Special to The Post Independent
The sign on the Glenwood soccer team’s Homecoming float said “Sink the Sailors.” and that’s exactly what they did in a 2-0 victory on Saturday. According to Demons coach Craig Plizga, it was some of the best soccer the team has played yet.
“Our midfield was the best I’ve seen it so far,” said Plizga. “Zack (Stepp) was in the right place at the right time all game. He’s a talented, smart player.”
The strong play of the Demon’s midfield kept the ball in the Sailors’ half of the field for the majority of the game, but Glenwood had a tough time finding the back of the net. Within the first six minutes, the Demons had two strong scoring opportunities that would model the way many of their chances would end in the first half.
Three minutes into the game, Corey McGrath made a nice move and flicked a pass that split two defenders and led Pat Shepard perfectly for an open look at the goal. Opposing goalie Elliot Girard came out of the net in a hurry and kicked the ball away. Minutes later, Abraham Saavedra made a similar pass to McGrath, who cut back to the center of the field and and fired a shot to the upper left corner of the net that didn’t get past the keeper.
Girard was the lone bright spot during a half in which the Sailors found themselves backpedaling against the Demon attack. The few runs they managed often followed a save by Girard after a flurry of Demon shots.
“Girard was exceptional in the first half,” said Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann. “He really kept us going and enabled our team to feed off of his great saves.”
Plizga agreed that Girard was a key in preventing the Demons from finishing their runs.
“Their keeper was great in one-on-one situations,” he said. “He stopped Corey and Pat a couple of times each.”
Despite a flurry of attacks, including four corner kicks, Glenwood retired to the locker room tied with Steamboat at the half, 0-0. Plizga said he told his team to continue playing a possession game.
“I wasn’t worried about not scoring in the first half because I knew the opportunities would continue and eventually, we’d score,” said Plizga.
And possess they did, as they continued to control the ball well in the start of the second half. Waller and Stepp sent occasional passes up to the forwards to try and get behind the defense. Most of the passes found their mark and Glenwood forced four more corner kicks before finishing one at the 26:00 minute mark.
Shepard took the corner and nailed a bender that Jack Kaup headed into the lower corner of the net. The goalie got his hands on it but couldn’t hang on as he fell backward toward the goal, and the ball rolled between the posts for a score.
Glenwood slowed things down a little and kept the ball in the midfield after going up 1-0, continuing attacks when available but emphasizing possession. The Sailors managed to get a couple of shots on goal but Keefe O’Conner ended the night with a Homecoming shutout.
The second Demon goal came with just 2:30 left in the game. Pat Waller passed to McGrath on the end line and he flipped a short cross to the far post where Shepard took a shot with a header on goal. It bounced off Girard’s hands and back to Shepard, who evaded a defender and sent a slant pass on the ground to McGrath on the far post for a quick score. McGrath was happy to get the pass.
“I’d told Shep that I was wide open on the far post and he got it right to me with a great pass,” said McGrath. “I just tapped it in.”
The Demons had 18 shots in the game and improve to 6-1-0 in the WSL and 8-1-0 overall. The Sailors are 1-4-1 WSL and 1-6-1 overall.
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