Grand Valley boys soccer runs away from LaBrae

LEAVITTSBURG — The LaBrae boys soccer program is still in its infancy. It has struggled with numbers and trying to build a program from the ground up.

Tuesday night, the Vikings ran into the Grand Valley Mustangs, whose team speed presented issues most of the night in an 8-0 GV victory.

“Offensively, we’ve been struggling for the last couple of years getting shots on frame; not only that but shots in the back of the net,” LaBrae coach Isaiah Carmichael said. “We’re trying to build a program with short numbers. It’s a bit more difficult. It’s a thing we’re working on building, and hopefully, we can get there.

The Vikings (0-6-1) had just six shots on goal while the Mustangs had 28.

Masyn Anderson led Grand Valley (2-4-1) with three goals. Zachary Midgett and Damian Johnson each contributed two.

“Masyn and Joshua Hoffman typically are our catalysts up top,” Grand Valley coach Rick Huffman said. “They’re both coming off of injuries. They’re getting marked as they are seniors. They’re both all-district players.

“They did a great job tonight of facilitating others. About four of our goals came from guys that are typically reserves. If we can do that, they can still be part of the game and create mismatches throughout the game.”

Those mismatches stuck out most of the game as the Mustangs looked a step faster and seemed to be going nonstop despite temps in the 80s and a resounding mugginess that caked the field. Their passes were crisp, and they essentially dictated the flow of the game.

“We were ahead of them on most of the plays,” Huffman said. “Our touches were better. We had many nice 3-4-5 pass touch sequences.”

LaBrae, though, held the Mustangs scoreless for nearly the first 20 minutes of the game until Anderson’s goal at the 21:48 mark of the half. Grand Valley had nearly scored a few minutes early on Huffman’s shot on goal.

Anderson added his second goal with 17:03 in the half as the Mustangs lived on the Viking side of the field. They built a 4-0 lead at the half.

“Their team had a lot of very fast strikers,” Carmichael said. “Defensively, I don’t think our mindset was there that we’re used to playing. Their team speed definitely played a role. They had a lot of great speed and athleticism up top as well. They had a lot of shots that were really good shots that you see at top-level games.”

The Mustangs added four more goals in the second half and played aggressively throughout the second despite holding a comfortable lead against a team that had just three shots on goal in the first half.

“We want to be the most physically fit team on the field,” Huffman said. “We want to be the most technically sound team. If we can bring those two things, we feel we’ll be in every game.

“We’ve had some struggles with that lately. Frankly, we’ve been getting pushed around with some of these guys that just don’t have the experience.”