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MTZ boys soccer pushes unvested streak to six

Matthew Platzbecker takes a touch before making a pass in a 6-1 win against Bloomington High School at home in Mt. Zion.

Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion boys soccer team won all three of its matches last week to stay unbeaten in their last six matches. The Braves outscored their opponents 23-1.

Against Bloomington, it took the Braves 11 minutes to score two goals. Those goals both came from Evan Griffith. Kam Clark delivers a cross-pass to Griffith. Griffith scored the first goal low into the right-corner to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

The second goal came from Hayden Shumaker. Shumaker laid off the ball to Griffith who netted the goal in the top-shelf of the net to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. The Braves ended the half ahead 4-0 afterZach Harvey scored a penalty kick goal and Greg Frazier scored off a rebound goal.

The Braves defense kept the Raiders’ offense to two shots and just one shot on-goal.

In the second half, Clark scored. This time Shumaker took the corner kick and Clark headed the ball down with pace into the back of the net to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. Clark scored off another Shumaker assist late in the game to give the Braves a 6-0 lead and the Braves held on to win 6-1.

The Braves defeated Charleston 9-0 and St. Teresa 8-0 earlier in the week.

“This was a good week,” Head coach Scott Crawford said. “The possession was much better, the shape was much better and I thought the boys finished in the final third which was good today and just overall a pretty good week.”

On August 26, the Braves lost their only Apollo conference loss of the season against Mahomet-Seymour in a 6-0 loss. Since then and during the month of September the Braves have picked up four conference wins and outscored their opponents 60-10.

“I think with the group that we have on the field right now that are starting is that they’re tough,” Coach Crawford said. “They’re making better decisions on the ball. Defensively, we’re communicating a little more and people are stepping up to win the ball and it’s going from midfield to forwards to the backs to midfielders to forward. It’s a lot nicer game to see right now.”

The Braves improve to 10-5-1 overall and 4-1-1 in Apollo conference play. This week the Braves will face Richland County, Taylorville and Effingham. This will help gear up the Braves for rematches against Lincoln and Mahomet-Seymour.

“We have to continue to play well,” Coach Crawford said. “We have to continue to finish, we have to continue to defend and we have to keep our shape. The next two weeks for us are big and we’re looking forward to it. But we have to play hard.”

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