In boys soccer: Rangers shut out Olympians 5-0, advance in playoffs
copyright the Chronicle October 22, 2014
by David Dudley
The Lake Region Rangers were in full force against the visiting Oxbow Olympians Tuesday afternoon. The pitch was sloppy after soaking up two days’ worth of a steady drizzle, which still persisted at kickoff. But that didn’t stop the Rangers from going hard for their first post-season victory, defeating the Olympians 5-0.
Riley Urie, who would go on to kick for a hat trick, scored the Rangers first goal 44 seconds into the game. And from there they never looked back.
The Olympians’ Brendan Smith broke free of the Rangers sticky defense only to be robbed by Ian Strange the moment before firing a shot at Rangers keeper Caleb Derbyshire.
After dominating the opening moments of the game, Urie scored again, this time off an assist by Kolby George, to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
“The first half we played really well,” Rangers Coach Tom Evans said after the game. “We were networking, moving the ball and changing the point of attack.”
Dylan Lahar scored the Rangers’ third goal with 25:38 left in the first half. They would take that respectable lead into halftime.
“We didn’t play so well in the second half,” Coach Evans said. “We were unorganized. There was way too much dribbling. Too little ball movement. Too few people moving. It was sloppy, but we got the result we wanted.”
Coach Evans payed special attention to his players, who were battling the rain and the mud and the slick grass as much as the Olympians. Evans subbed fairly often. The replacements — who watched the game from under canvas canopies — were asked to run up and down the sideline to warm up before stepping onto the pitch.
Before the game Evans asked keeper Caleb Derbyshire to practice outside of the mud slurry just inside the box. The field became increasingly slippery as the game wore on. Players on both sides went down often. The Rangers white jerseys were smeared with mud.
At one point, Bryant Prue went down after colliding with an Olympian. Prue remained motionless for a moment, until the ball was sent back his way. Suddenly he leaped to his feet as though nothing had happened. He ran to the ball, making a push to get a shot on goal. Alas, the Olympians sent the ball upfield. Prue shrugged, smiling, trying to get back on defense.
Much of the second half played out like that. Players slipped, fell, and slid, before getting up and back into the mix.
With 24:13 left in the game, Urie scored his third goal of the afternoon to put the Rangers up 4-0.
A few moments later, Rangers keeper Derbyshire came out to snatch the ball from an oncoming Olympian. Derbyshire booted the ball to midfield, then he winced and plopped down upon the soaked pitch. After sitting there for a few moments with his ankle in excruciating pain, he came out of the game.
Evans put in Danny Epinette for the remainder of the game. Between Derbyshire, Epinette, and the Rangers’ strong defensive effort, the Olympians simply couldn’t get the ball in the net.
The Rangers scored once more to take a commanding 5-0 lead into the final moments of the game.
As the game wound down, the Olympians made one last push. They executed on a corner kick that sent the ball toward a clump of players gathered in front of the net. But Epinette wasn’t waiting; he came out to challenge the pass. He leapt up into a crowd of players and snatched the ball out of mid air, dousing the Olympians’ hope of getting on the board.
“Hats off to the Olympians,” Coach Evans said. “They play 80 minutes no matter what the score is. But we played good defense, and that makes it easier on everybody. That’s why we got the result we wanted.”
With the 5-0 victory over the Olympians, the Rangers are set to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
contact David Dudley at [email protected]
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