The Jonathan Alder boys soccer team has taken a business-like approach into the 2016 season and the Pioneers are seeing the results pay off.
The team boasts a stellar 4-0-1 overall record (3-0 in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference), with the only blemish being a 4-4 draw with a talented Columbus Academy squad.
“Last season, we opened with Academy and stole a 1-0 victory,” Alder coach David Lanka said. “In that match, we were out-shot 16-2 and our goalie (Braeden McGough) stood on his head to win the match. This year, we knew we had to be much better.”
The Pioneers were able to overcome some adversity and earn the tie in that contest. Although it wasn’t a win the coach felt pretty good about the outcome
“Overall, it was encouraging to see our offense put up four goals against a quality opponent. I don’t know if we’ve done that in the nine years I’ve been coaching.
“Our guys could have easily turned negative and conceded against a talented squad, but they didn’t. They fought back and played some of the best 80 minutes of soccer I’ve seen in a while. While we didn’t get the win, it was as good of a start to the season as I could ever hope for.”
The team took the momentum from that match and turned it into four straight wins, allowing just one goal in the process. The teams other victories have been an 8-1 triumph over East Knox and shutouts of Hamilton Township (3-0), Galion (6-0) and River Valley (5-0).
The wins over East Knox, Galion and River Valley were all conference victories. The win over Hamilton Township was especially sweet considering what happened the last time the squads met.
“Last season, we lost to Hamilton Township in the second round of the (district) tournament,” Lanka said. “Since we had the match scheduled, the date has been circled on our calendar. We went into the match with one thing on our mind, retribution.”
Cameron Androw continued his hot start to the season with two goals in the match (assisted by Clayton Boggs and Riley Thomas). Peyton Ernst also added a goal which was assisted by Ethan Gordin.
Jonathan Alder 10,
River Valley 1
The Lady Pioneers (4-0) continued to dominate the competition, the latest triumph was a 10-1 decision over host River Valley Monday.
The 10-goal explosion included a pair of goals from Sophie Thomas, Lindsay Miller, Hannah Headlee and Kenley Geitgey, as well as single tallies from Lily Hess and Riley Gruenbaum.
Nora Squires continued to sparkle in goal. The Lady Pioneers have outscored their opponents 35-2 through four games.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.