SOCCER: Reed-Custer blanked by JCA
BRAIDWOOD — Progress continues to be made within the Reed-Custer soccer program.
And eventually the wins will come as well, but Monday wasn’t the start of that.
Playing host to Joliet Catholic Academy, the Comets started slow, adjusting to the heat and couldn’t recover as they lost 5-0 to the Hillmen.
“I thought we had spurts of good play,” Reed-Custer coach Andy Gleixner said. “But it took too long for us to finally get settled in and adapted to the heat a little bit. We had some opportunities but we have to continue working on finishing those chances.”
A little over five minutes into the start of the game, JCA struck as Mason Rasner connected with a header that found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, the ball slipped past the Comets’ back row and Danny Pettenuzzo finished the job to push the lead to 2-0.
Just before the half, Kyle Mitchell got in on the Hillmen fun and pushed one pass the goal line to make the score 3-0 going into the break.
“Our focus wasn’t all the way there today,” Gleixner said. “Coming off a long weekend and not having practice, those Monday games can be tough. But it comes down to our veterans players and them getting everyone up and engaged before the start. JCA played some good soccer and came ready. They moved the ball quickly and we didn’t match their intensity.”
Although the Comets turned up their level of aggression and controlled the ball for a better portion of the second half, the scoring wasn’t there.
Chances were limited for the Hillmen, but Josh Ragusa and Mathew Costa were able to connect on goals to effectively slam the door shut.
“We looked for ways to create more opportunities to score so we mixed a couple things up after halftime,” Gleixner said. “We moved our offensive midfielder up to forward to see what that could do. There was still a lot of soccer left and it was still a winnable game, but we have more to work on.”
What to work on
Those two early goals showed one thing to Gleixner: the mental focus wasn’t there.
Not only that, the Comets seemed a little hesitant to take chances in the beginning. Although that changed in the second half, being hesitant for half of a game won’t cut it long term.
“Mental focus has to improve and I know it will,” Gleixner said. “I also think we need to play faster. We’ve played against some teams that are more at our speed. Our consistency could be better. We have games where we get a good amount of 50-50 balls, but this wasn’t one of them.”
Signs of improvement
Gleixner was quick to put out the team’s defensive progress from the first game against Iroquois West to last night’s game.
Their record, 3-10-1, may not look good from a results viewpoint. But considering that Iroquois West game ended in an 11-0 victory for the Raiders, Gleixner see the progress and likes where the Comets are going.
“We’re more comfortable with either and we understand what our identity is as a team,” Gleixner said. “The defense has been night and day since. We looked like we had never played when that Iroquois West game happened. However, guys like Jackson Crater, Klayton Schott, Luke Johnson and Riley Johnson have been playing great the last few weeks and we’re getting settled in. Now we’re just trying to find that shape and maintain it throughout a game.
Reed-Custer is back in action on Thursday when it hosts Momence.