Mustangs put up a good fight but fall to Hawks



By Darryl Mellema

Once Metea Valley raised its level of play in Tuesday's game with Bartlett, the Mustangs were more than a match for their visitors.

The problem was that Metea Valley's best play came after it fell behind on a Brett Dini goal in the 18th minute and as much as they tried, the Mustangs never found an equalizer and fell by that 1-0 score.

"The first half, we couldn't put the ball on the ground and knock it around," Metea Valley coach Josh Robinson said.

"The second half, we did that a little bit better. But at the same time, we dug ourselves a hole by giving up a goal and only playing for perhaps 65 minutes."

The Mustangs (2-3) had chances in the game, many coming from strong forward runs by Chris Freeman or Ryan Solomon or Joel Schmidt.

But as exciting as those breaks toward the Bartlett penalty area were, there was sameness to that approach, something Robinson said he would like to see changed.

"It's nice but at times we have to mix up what we're doing," Robinson said. "With the speed that we have, I think we tend to play too direct.

"I think the boys understand that we need to play a little more of a possession game to open those spaces."

Sitting in a linking role in the midfield for the Mustangs is Danny Shea, whose connecting work improved through the game. Shea had a strong chance to tie the match with 15 minutes left but had his shot saved.

"When (Shea) can get himself in a game and start knocking it around, he is dangerous," Robinson said.

"Unfortunately it wasn't consistent enough tonight. Zach Bavol is the same way. When they are able to start getting possession, we are very dangerous."

Throughout the match, Metea Valley goalie Derek Carothers had his focus at a very high level.

The junior made a series of saves, starting with a one-on-one stop from an Andrew Triantos shot after 4 minutes.

Carothers also stopped a Dini volley in the 12th minute and saved a strong shot from Charlie Sordini in the 27th minute.

"Derek played absolutely fantastic today," Robinson said. "I've been able to coach him for a year at Waubonsie and then last year here and now this year so I've seen him for the last three years.

"He lacked consistency the first couple of games, but he was very strong today."

With the 1-0 lead late in the match, Bartlett (2-0) made life difficult for Metea Valley's forwards.

"They're a smart enough team that they're going to try to control the game from the back, and they did," Robinson said.

A youth lineup is a constant for Metea Valley in its first year competing at the varsity level during the regular season.

Robinson refused to allow the fact that the team doesn't have any seniors act as an excuse for his team's defeat.

"At the same time, they have played at high levels with their clubs," Robinson said.

"It's a little bit of maturity, but I don't know that it's a thing seniors would change. Most of these guys have played in some of the best tournaments in the country."


Mustangs 2010 varsity roster
Derek Carothers Jr., GK
Blake Erwin Jr., D
Cody Jones Jr., F
Brett Erwin Jr., D
Joel Schmidt Jr., M
Ian Baumgartner Jr., D
Kevin Decker Jr., M
Daniel Shea Jr., M
Ryan Solomon Jr., F
Andres Espinosa Jr., M
Zachary Bavol Jr., M
Max Gierczak So., M
Evan Cudone So., M
Daniel Zhuang So., D
Enrique Rodriguez So., M
Jake Goehring So., F
Andrew Shin So., D
Gabriel Gongora So., GK
Chris Freeman Fr., F

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