Jeeps hold off late rally, advance to semisOctober 2, 2018
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
DUBOIS — The Northeast Dubois boys soccer team was exhausted following their sectional opener on Tuesday night after a second half that was less than satisfactory by their own standards.
However, the Jeeps were able to accomplish their main goal — win.
“I think we got a little relaxed after the first half,” said senior Marshall Knies following the Jeeps 3-2 victory over North Posey in Dubois. “That’s why that happened in the second half — once we got up, we relaxed.”
After a physical beginning to the match, Northeast Dubois (8-3-3) was able to get their offense going right away — something that the Jeeps wanted to key in on due to the fact that they haven’t been a high-scoring team this season.
After a few quick scoring opportunities didn’t prove fruitful in the first ten minutes of the match, senior Trevor Seufert got the Jeeps on the board with 28:19 to play in the first half with a solid goal to make it 1-0 Northeast Dubois.
“That was pretty key,” said Seufert, regarding the quick start. “We wanted to get up early so we could have the lead to start off with and then be confident with the ball.”
However, North Posey was able to even things up rather quickly as freshman Riley Basham put one in the back of the net just 30 seconds after the initial Jeep goal to tie things back up at 1-1.
But once again Northeast Dubois was able to regain composure and maintained possession most of the way midway through the first half as they had a few opportunities with corner kicks.
Finally, they were able to break the tie with 15:58 left in the first half as Chase Zehr fired a shot past the Viking goalkeeper to make it 2-1 Jeeps. Northeast Dubois made it 3-1 at the halftime break as Vetle Fossan scored a goal off of a free kick with 6:35 to play in the first half.
“It was key obviously because we got them on their back foot once we got those goals,” said Northeast Dubois head coach Clive Williams.
“But then, we have to be able to build on those.”
After going into the break with a 3-1 lead, Williams told his boys that he wanted them to put up one more goal to fully solidify the advantage because he feels that in a two goal game anything can happen.
Turns out, the Vikings felt that way too. After a string of aggressive play early in the second half, the Vikings broke through with their second goal of the night with 16:16 to play as North Posey junior Tanner Tichenor scored to pull the Vikings within one.
North Posey had a few more chances late but the Northeast Dubois defense remained stout. The Jeeps held off of a few corner kicks and one final surge by the Vikings to hang on and win 3-2 and advance to the sectional semifinal tonight against South Spencer — a team the Jeeps defeated 3-1 in Reo earlier this year.
While the Jeeps were able to record the victory, they know there are still a lot of improvements they need to make after allowing the Vikings to nearly rally from a two-goal deficit on Tuesday evening.
“We have to work on our communication and our passing,” Knies said. “We’re wearing out — we’re running around and trying to dribble it a lot and that seems to be our problem.”
Williams added: “I think the biggest key will be for us to move the ball consistently. We were able to do that in the first half but in the second half it wasn’t there — when you start to get tired, you have to let the ball do the work.”
While the Jeeps do have an abundance of seniors (eight on the roster), there are just two juniors with the rest of the roster rounded out by underclassmen.
Many of the younger guys got their first taste of postseason action on Tuesday and Williams knows that it may take some time for the underclassmen to get adjusted.
“I think we have a good group of seniors who are carrying most of the load right now and I think our younger players are skillful, but they haven’t really had the time on the field,” Williams said. “You have the people at the top but then it’s mostly just sophomores and freshmen, there’s still a big gap that needs to be filled. We’ve got to figure out a way to intertwine those two so it works better for us.”
The Jeeps will play in the sectional semifinal tonight against the Rebels at 8 p.m. with a spot in the championship on the line.
In order to win their second straight sectional championship, Northeast Dubois feels they just need to play their game and remain confident and consistent.
“We just have to relax,” Seufert said. “I think we also just have to be able to talk with one another so we know what’s going on in the game. We have to be a little louder.”
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