By DAVE PEDERSEN
Crow River News Sports
Rockford won two of the three boys soccer games played last week, but the victories were captured in different ways.
In the 2-0 shutout against Cambridge-Isanti the Rockets controlled possession for about 80 percent of the game, but could not figure a way to find the back of the net.
Goalie Lucas Robinson only needed to make five saves. The game was scoreless until Chris Chavez scored with about 30 minutes to play on a feed from Miguel Ibarra. Blake Young added the insurance goal.
Coach Steve Ulen says Nick Manthana, Connor Cruz, Zach Biese and Carter DeWolfe played very well on defense.
It was a different story with the same outcome in the 3-1 win over St. Francis when Robinson had to make 17 saves. Ibarra scored two goals and assisted on the other one netted by Young.
Ibarra’s first goal was on a penalty kick where Young drew the foul. Ibarra’s second goal was on a “great assist” by Eliot King.
“We got great games from Spencer Hertle and Christian Silva, who logged heavy minutes in both of their first starts,” notes Ulen. “Lucas Botten and Jack Cady gave us some very much needed bench play. Christian Swanson was solid at outside midfielder.”
Robinson lost the shutout with 1:30 left on a goal that was deflected where he had no chance. Ulen says his goalie’s confidence level is at an all time high.
After three straight wins to open the season, the boys lost 2-0 to Holy Family.
“It was the fourth game in six days and I think it took a toll on us,” adds Ulen. “We’ve been going since the start of practice for 16 of the first 18 days this season. Against Holy Family, we played a little tired and Holy Family played very physical against on us. We hung in there and defended well again, but it wasn’t the outcome we were looking for.”
Rockford will play host to Delano, 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 before going to play at Hutchinson, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12. The team is home against Orono, 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.
“Our tough schedule to begin the season will hopefully prepare us for sections in about five weeks,” says Ulen. “Considering we played four games in six days we are happy to get three wins. But we have to continue to play at a high level with the teams we have coming up on our schedule.”
Rockford opened the season with a 6-2 victory over Maranatha Christian Academy, sparked by four goals scored by Chavez.