In route to a district semifinals appearance Saturday, the South Webster Jeeps were able to defeat the Minford Falcons Wednesday evening in South Webster by a score of 5-0.
The first thirty minutes of this contest were very tight, and it was evident both teams were laying everything they had out on the line. In the first contest of the season between these two, Minford shocked the Jeeps and were able to defeat them in South Webster’s opening game of the season at the Falcons soccer complex, 3-2 on August 23rd. Just under a month later on September 18th, the Jeeps corrected their mistakes and took down the Falcons on their home field, 7-0.
Once the first thirty minutes of Wednesday night’s contest were over, however, South Webster was able to create a ton of scoring opportunities. Their first of the night came on a goal from Gavin Bennett and was assisted by Shiloah Blevins with 8:24 remaining in the half. South Webster would take their one goal lead into the intermission.
Coming out of the break, South Webster continued on their strong offensive pace. At the 37:52 mark of the second half, Blevins was able to score his first goal of the game unassisted by beating Minford goalie Jesse Cantrell. Just under ten minutes later, at the 28:54 mark of the second half, Bennett would have his second goal of the contest and the Jeeps would extend their lead to 3-0.
But the scoring outburst was far from over. At the 23:41 mark of the half, Blevins was able to find the back of the net for the second time on the night and was this time assisted by Sam Holstein. Leading 4-0, the Jeeps were able to create one more scoring opportunity as Gabe Ruth scored unassisted with 22:49 left in the match to extend their lead to 5-0 and securing the match victory. In total for the contest, the Jeeps offensive attack was so excellent they had 23 shots total in the match, eleven of which were on goal.
“We’re excited about it” said South Webster head coach Corey Claxon following his team’s sectional championship victory Wednesday night, “You don’t always like to play a team three times, but when you have to, you just hope it goes well for you. Having the home field advantage definitely helped us. I think there was a big difference between our first game of the season we played against them and the two times we got them at home. The wind in the first half I think was definitely a big factor, so when we flipped sides of the field in the second half, that helped us out. And we have a lot of depth on this team and I think that’s really proved to help us late in these games to be able to continue strong.”
Minford head coach Dave Gampp spoke about their game plan heading into their third contest with the Jeeps following their loss, “I don’t think anybody has been able to slow them down since we were able to at the very beginning of the season. We’ve been the only team that’s even gotten three goals on them since that first game. We were hoping to use that to our advantage and to keep it tight early on in the first half. And we played a really good first half, we just kind of ran out of steam the second half. They’ve just got so many weapons and they move the ball well and they’re coached really well. They’ve got the potential to go a long ways. To me, they’re the best team in both SOC’s this year.”
South Webster will face Lynchburg-Clay in the district semifinals Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. at Waverly for a spot in the district championship. Lynchburg-Clay defeated North Adams 2-0 Wednesday night to win their sectional championship and advance to play the Jeeps. The winner of this contest will face the winner of Valley and Wheelersburg for the district championship which will also be played at Waverly.
“We’re excited just to get back to the district” said Claxon in preparation for Saturday’s contest, “Anytime you’ve made it that far you’ve done something good, and you can always expect a good game there. We’re going to prepare to try and be the best that we can be.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT