Shamrock boys shut down Vikings

March 20, 2019

Scotus boys soccer started the season firing on all cylinders, scored eight times and shut out crosstown rival Lakeview on Tuesday evening.

The game was held at Central Community College - Columbus due to unplayable conditions at Wilderness Park.

The Shamrocks started hot, scoring a goal in the ninth minute when senior Inri Dimas found the back of the net. They led 4-0 at the break then added four more in the final 40 minutes.

“It was just great to even be able to have a game,” said Scotus head coach PJ Miller. “We were worried about not having a place to play because the fields in town are just not quite ready. Thanks to CCC for letting us play up here. We got outside, worked off some of the rest and looked pretty good.”

It didn’t take long for Scotus to double its lead. Junior Henry Hernandez connected on a goal in the 17th minute after his side earned a corner kick and held the attacking zone after the set piece was initially unsuccesful.

The Shamrocks continued to pour on the pressure up 2-0 and never allowed Lakeview a serious look at the net.

In the 23rd, minute Bailey Christensen sent in another corner kick that deflected to the foot of Dimas who put in his second and made it 3-0.

Five minutes later, senior Braden Labenz added a fourth and the rout was on.

The Vikings were lucky to not trail 5-0 heading into the half. ’Rocks sophomore Ross Thorson missed a penalty kick wide in the 31st minute.

The 10-minute halftime break and whatever adjustments the coaching staffs put into place didn’t have much effect on the game as Labenz, junior Antonio Chavez and junior Tyler Vaught all added more Scotus goals.

One of the loudest ovations came when foreign exchange student senior Tommy Yu found the back on the next in the 80th minute.

“It’s great,” Dimas said about the win. “We haven’t gone outside all that much. We’ll progress and get better throughout the season. I was pumped for this game and just wanted to get after it.

“We played a lot of our younger players in the second half so they could have the experience. They played well. We all played well.”

Despite the dominant victory Miller still sees areas to improve on.

“We have to work on our positioning and our movement away from the ball, but it will come,” he said. “A lot of young guys got a lot of playing time. We’ll get better.”

Lakeview head coach Joe Madden said there were many takeaways to build on for his team.

“We learned a little bit more about our strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “This is the first time for a lot of these guys playing in a varsity match, so figuring out where their skill set is used best.

“We learned about the individual players. We’re also realizing how we need to pick up the speed of play as opposed to letting the other team get there first. We realized we need to treat everything as a race to the ball.”

Lakeview sophomore Matthew Bennet was one of the players that impressed Madden in the opening game.

“That was his first start, and I thought he did an excellent job out there,” Madden said. “He played a majority of the game and did a nice job of stepping up and making tackles. I saw a lot of individual good efforts on defense.

“It’s the first time of them working together so getting them firing on all cylinders is something that we’re still going to have to improve on.”

In a rare occurrence, senior Carlos Aleman started the game in the goal for Lakeview but played forward in the second half.

Aleman nearly put the Vikings on the scoreboard. He had a shot go slightly left, hitting the post in the 44th minute. It was the best chance for a Viking squad that managed just two shots on frame.

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com