The score was deceiving on Monday night as the Crimson Bears’ boy’s soccer team stopped Thunder Mountain High School 5-0, but it still counts.
JDHS got three goals in the first half, the first on junior Stuart Thurston’s breakaway shot straight on from 20 yards out roughly five minutes into the match.
“We wanted to win the energy battle,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “That is the most important thing for us. We feel like the skills and things like that will take care of themselves. That is what we set out to do and I felt like early on we really took it to them. We talked about that and made it a priority. The kids played well.”
The Crimson Bears fired on the Falcons goal numerous times in the first half, with senior midfielder Johnny Joyce missing two in a row, junior Jackson Lehnhart shooting wide twice, and senior Martin Gjerde missing high before senior Darien Stanger scored to the left side of Falcons’ keeper Jasper Soriano 15 minutes in on an assist by freshman Nick Stewart.
Soriano had his hands full all game and played well in the goalmouth, stopping at least a dozen shots and putting the ball back in play deep past midfield. The biggest challenge for Soriano came in the first half when JDHS senior Randon Calderwood got a shot near the goalmouth. Soriano challenged and stopped two shots before Calderwood tipped the ball to the side and then in for a 3-0 first half advantage.
Falcons junior center back Stephen Ringle had numerous defensive helps and sophomore Ben Jahn had a penalty kick go high and Ringle two shots go wide as TMHS battled through to the break.
The Falcons played a strong defense and showed good ball movement but put too many balls in the air and didn’t play to their strength of keeping the ball on the ground.
“JDHS is a great squad, well rounded,” TMHS coach Sam Greely said. “They all know what they are doing. I feel like our guys weren’t too far away from playing defense the whole game and playing offense. I felt like we had a little of both. It is just pounding and trying to play offense is our best defense. I thought it was a good effort. I am really proud of these guys.”
In the second half the ball was less on the Falcons attack and more in their defensive zone.
Stewart stole a throw-in from the Falcons and Stanger banged in a shot for 4-0. Stewart scored a header late in the half on a Lehnhart corner kick to make the final 5-0. In between Falcons’ tender Soriano had to deflect nine shots and the TMHS players marked the Crimson Bears well but couldn’t push the ball forward.
“From the players perspective you have to give them credit,” Lehnhart said. “They are the ones that did it. They saw that the unselfish things, the little things, are what makes a difference.”
The TMHS girls play the JDHS girls tonight at 5:15 at Falcons Field.