By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
After a tough opening conference loss to Columbia Central the Manchester Flying Dutchmen (1-1) got their first win Thursday Sept. 7 against the Onsted Wildcats, 5-2.
Manchester started out controlling the game with possession and winning the 50-50 ball battle.
Junior Lenin Fierro struck in the opening ten minutes for the Flying Dutchmen, beating Wildcat defenders and the goalkeeper on a counter attack after a defensive stop.
Grant Payer, the Wildcat keeper, was able to get a hand on the shot, but Fierro followed the blocked shot and headed it into an empty net.
Two goals in the first half allowed by the Flying Dutchmen were both scored by senior Tyler Hill for the Wildcats, with both goals coming on switches that found him unmarked on the far side of the goal.
The Flying Dutchmen took a 3-2 lead into halftime after two more first half goals from senior midfielder Jason Riske, who hit a nice ball from inside the 18-yard box into the back-left corner that the keeper again got a hand on but couldn’t save.
Freshman Henry Wehrly got the other, beating a defender on a backside pass then chipping it past the keeper.
After controlling most of the first half, the Wildcats had gained momentum winning more 50-50 battles and finding more scoring chances. Manchester head coach Travis Baker knew what needed to be fixed, addressing it at halftime.
“Just tracking those players on the backside,” said Baker. “We were playing with a three-back system so getting our outside midfielders to tuck in as soon as we lost the ball so we were covered on the backside, that’s really about it.”
Rain began to fall in the second half but that didn’t stop the Flying Dutchmen from adding two more goals. Fierro added another rocket from just outside the 18-yard box after settling the ball, lifting it, turning and firing a shot into the back of the net that Payer didn’t even react to.
Junior River Spitler rounded out the scoring for the Flying Dutchmen, scoring a header off of a Riske free kick.
With Labor Day providing the team with a little bit longer break than usual, it gave the team more time to work on something that showed on Thursday, finishing.
“We’ve spent the last three training sessions just doing finishing,” said Baker. “(We’re) probably just gonna continue to do finishing until we’re pumping in eight goals a game. Defensively I think we’re pretty sound, all the goals we’ve given up have been mental lapses.”
The Flying Dutchmen improved to 10-2-1 (1-1) with their next game on Tuesday Sept. 12 against Adrian.