Girard can’t slow Raiders
GIRARD — The Girard boys soccer team found itself down 2-0 early in a Northeast-8 contest against South Range. The Indians switched up the defense, locking down the South Range attackers, but the Raiders were able to scoot around the pressure on their way to a 6-0 win over Girard.
The key to getting around the pressure was an emphasis on possession.
“If you work the ball around them enough, they’re going to get confused, they’re going to get tired and that’s what we do,” South Range coach Zach Stamp said. “That’s why we run in the preseason, that’s what happens when we keep possession, we keep the ball moving and we’ll get a goal eventually.”
After two goals in the first 10 minutes, the change in pressure kept the Raiders off the scoresheet for around 20 minutes.
The initial score by South Range senior Logan Weaver kickstarted a flurry of shots that led to a 6-0 victory over the Indians on Tuesday night in a Northeast-8 showdown.
“It was a good win,” Stamp said. “A good win in the conference. We had a good win against Jefferson and hopefully we’ll keep it going throughout the season. Girard is a great team and to put up a 6-0 outing was a great effort by us.”
Weaver was the catalyst for South Range, scoring the initial goal. Six minutes later, Camden Thomas beat Girard goalkeeper Thomas Cardiero to make the score 2-0 one second shy of 10 minutes into the game. Weaver scored again in the final 10 minutes of the half.
The second half was the same story as the first, with the Raiders hitting the back of the net as quickly as possible in the second frame as well. This time it was Luke McConnell who got on the board 33 seconds into the half. Just a minute later, he did it again to make the score 5-0.
Goalkeeper Braden Johnson had the clean sheet on the night. Due to strong play from the Raider defenders, neither had to face many shots from the Girard attackers.
“You always love the games where you keep the clean sheet and they don’t get many shots because you know the defense is doing their job,” Stamp said. “They did that tonight, so that’s all I can ask.”
With two minutes remaining in the game, Tom Landry scored the final goal to make the game 6-0 in favor of the Raiders. South Range moves to 4-4-1 on the year.
“Hopefully we can keep going in the league,” Stamp said. “We’ve got league matches all next week and the rest of this week, so hopefully we can keep going and get our standings up and help with our district rank.”
Girard (4-5-1, 1-4-1 NE8) looks to recover with a road match against Jefferson, while South Range returns home to host Niles.
The Raiders claimed victory last time, but to Stamp, that means nothing about this game, and they have to continue to work just as hard.
“We beat them once already but that doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We’ve got to come out and show them what we’ve got again and lay the groundwork down again and hopefully we’ll get another one.”
The two teams close out the season against each other at South Range Oct. 15. Indians coach Damon LaRiviere could not be reached for comment.