Badger holds off feisty Girard boys soccer

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Girard’s Stephen Gamble, left, and Badger’s Kyle Swym, right, battle for possession during Tuesday’s game in Vernon. Badger won, 5-2.

VERNON — Badger boys soccer started its season off on the right foot, beating a strong Girard team, 5-2.

“I thought both teams came out and played a good, hard game,” Braves coach Justin Deraway said. “Everyone moved the ball really well, and it was a hard-fought game.”

Junior Max Wilson had a dominant offensive performance for the Braves, scoring three goals. His coach said he is good at finding holes in the opposition’s defense.

“In the open field, Maxwell is a pretty good player,” Deraway said. “If he’s given a couple opportunities, he’s going to put a few home for us.”

Badger played well in the first 40 minutes, taking a 2-0 lead — flustering Girard (1-1). The Braves capitalized on the Indians being off their game.

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Badger's Max Wilson, left, looks to dribble past Girard's Dylan DiPiero, right.

“That first goal definitely gave us some confidence after it went in,” Deraway said. “We were able to capitalize a few more times after that.”

Luke and Jack Springer each scored a goal for Badger (1-0).

Girard, fresh off a 10-1 victory over John F. Kennedy, looked to be an imposing foe. That didn’t intimidate Deraway or his team.

“We obviously were aware of that game,” Deraway said. “We were pretty confident in our team, so we came out and just tried to play our game.”

Girard began to rally, down 4-0 in the final 10 minutes. The Indians scored two quick goals from Xavier Llanes and Dylan DiPiero. Unfortunately for Girard, it couldn’t keep the goals coming.

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Badger's Jack Springer, left, Clayton Jablonski, center, and Luke Ritch, right, celebrate during Tuesday's game against Girard.

“It was a rough game,” Girard coach Zach Stamp said. “A 5-2 loss after beating JFK 10-1 is a little disappointing. We had a good stretch. We were down 4-0 and came back and cut the lead to 4-2, but that’s a great Badger team.”

The Indians felt the momentum shift, but it was just too little too late. Stamp is proud that his team held strong despite the odds.

“Two quick goals is always going to change the momentum, but when you’re down four to begin with, it’s hard,” Stamp said. “It’s hard to jump back and try to catch a lead, but we didn’t give up so I can’t be too mad.”

With Girard closing in, Wilson took advantage of an open lane and fired at the net, scoring his third and final goal.

Girard returns home to take on Champion on Saturday. Stamp is focused on is getting the rebound his team needs to continue strong into the heart of the season.

“We’ve got to get a win,” Stamp said. “We have to step up into the win column, go to 2-1, and hopefully go on from there.”

Badger hopes to continue their momentum when they welcome Lordstown, taking on the Red Devils Friday evening.

“I know Lordstown has a few returning guys that are good on the ball,” Deraway said. “I haven’t seen any of their scores yet, so we’re just going to prepare how we would any other game and hopefully come out with a win.”