Back in the game
When it comes to spring sports, sometimes just getting the game played is enough to make coaches and players happy.
That was the consensus after Nevada Union traveled to Bear River Wednesday afternoon. The Miners returned home with a 4-0 victory.
“This was our first 40-minute per half, regulation game,” Nevada Union coach Mike Voss said. “It was nice to get to play everyone their rightful amount of time. We’ve been penalizing some of the starters in order to get bench players in, and some bench players have suffered as well.”
The two teams went scoreless for much of the first half before Nevada Union scored two quick goals right before halftime. The first came on sophomore Michelle Horstman’s penalty kick and the second when Jocelyn Rapp booted in a direct kick from a distance.
“If we could have gone into halftime at 0-0, we would have been ecstatic,” Bear River coach Dave Barnes said.
The Miners struggled to take the ball to the net early in the game, but Voss was pretty sure he knew why.
“Monday was the first day we’ve practiced with a regulation soccer goal,” Voss said. “We’ve been practicing on the turf, on blacktop or wherever we can, so we really haven’t been practicing real soccer. We’ve done a lot of passing in practice, but not much shooting.
“I finally yelled at them after about 15 or 20 minutes. Then they started shooting the ball.”
While Voss was pleased to get a full game in, Barnes enjoyed facing off with a (Division II) opponent.
“I love to play a team as organized as NU,” Barnes said. “They play the way a team should play. If you show Nevada Union a weakness, they’ll expose it. We get so much out of a game like this. It allows me to teach soccer.”
Barnes said he was happy with the way his defense played for a half, but found plenty for the team to work on in upcoming practices.
“We need to have better continuity on the back line,” Barnes said. “We’re still searching for fullbacks. Our position on the back line is our biggest weakness right now.”
As for the midfielders, Barnes said it’s hard to tell against a talented group like the Miners.
“We’re not used to facing such a talented midfield,” he said. “We weren’t able to switch fields at all today. It was open to us the whole game, but we couldn’t get through.”
Mallory Meier scored unassisted 14 minutes into the second half and Horstman struck again four minutes later off an assist from Sophia Ruocco-Brown.
When the dust settled, Nevada Union had outshot the Bruins 22-3. Nevada Union goalkeeper Avery Vaughan tallied two saves and a shutout. Bear River’s Courtney Howell made three saves in the first half while Milada Belonlavek made four saves in the second half.
To contact Sports Writer Ross Maak, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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