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MTZ boys soccer finishes with two draws and a win last week

Joshua Garrett leaps to match the catch on a Bullldog corner kick in a 1-1 draw against Mahomet-Seymour.

By BLAKE FAITH
Staff Writer

The Mt. Zion boys soccer team finished last week with an Apollo Conference win against Mattoon and two draws with one coming on the road against Apollo Conference foe Mahomet-Seymour.

Against the Bulldogs, the Braves were tested defensively early but were able to contain the Bulldogs with the help of goalkeeper Joshua Garrett, and defenders Thomas Kanemaru, Carter Bahls, Will Grohne and Bryndon Wallace. The defenses contained and Garrett, while only making two saves, shut down the Bulldogs’ corner kick opportunities and made plays on the ball to shut down the Bulldogs’ offense.

“Those guys played really well tonight,” Head coach Scott Crawford said. “Josh made a couple great saves, Carter worked his butt off, Will being as big as he is, he’s got some work to do, but he’s getting there, he’s getting closer. I thought our defense played well. The outside back’s (Wallace and Kanemaru) played well. They got into the offense, which was great. That’s what we wanted.”

Then the game opened up for the Braves in the 14th minute. Jacob Harmison dribbled the ball into the box and was fouled and the Braves were awarded a Penalty Kick. Greg Frazier stepped up and buried the shot into the low-left corner of the net to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

The Braves almost went up 2-0 when Frazier cracked a shot from 20-yards out that went off the sidebar. The Bulldogs offense with less than two minutes left scored on an opportunity Nolan Wheeler that tied the game 1-1.

In the second half, both teams battled back and forth to take a lead. The Braves had a chance with 11 minutes left when Kanemaru hit a cross pass to Frazier that headed it down but was saved by the Bulldogs’ keeper.

“I think we battled and I think it was a good battle,” Coach Crawford said. “It was a fun game to watch, there were some great saves on both sides. There were great opportunities on both sides, with a pretty open midfield, so there was a lot of space to play in.”

The match ended in a 1-1 draw. The Braves improved to 5-2-3 overall and 2-0-2 overall. This week the Braves will face Charleston, St. Teresa and Bloomington.

“We need to finish. We need some more goals,” Coach Crawford said. “We need to finish more opportunities and we need to finish in the bigger games. So that’s what we’re working on moving forward.”

 

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