You probably couldn’t draw up a better start to the season than the one the Jonathan Alder boys soccer team put together Friday against state powerhouse Columbus Academy.
The Pioneers (1-0) got a goal from senior Zach George and a stellar night in goal by sophomore keeper Braeden McGough, who turned away all 18 shots he faced in the victory.
“To open the season with a win against quality competition is always a huge boost for the team,” Jonathan Alder High School coach David Lanka said. “The guys have worked extremely hard this summer. We had a very tough preseason schedule of four scrimmages against top competition and we went 0-4. To see the guys working hard and have it come together in the season opener was very rewarding.”
The coach knows that getting a win against one of the better soccer programs in the state is a great thing, but it doesn’t mean his team has reached elite status.
“From a coaching standpoint, we did not play very well,” Lanka said. “We struggled to maintain possession for long periods of time and we gave up too many shots. Our keeper, Braeden McGough had a phenomenal match making 16 saves, including a penalty kick save.
“Quality wins breeds confidence, but we also need to step back and realize there were big stretches where we were outplayed. Had Academy put away some of their chances or had Braeden not made the save, they could have put a few in the net in the first half and the story could have ended completely different. We need to realize that if we played Academy again tomorrow and both teams played a similar style, they could easily walk away with a convincing win. The win was great for us, but we have a lot of work to do.”
The team will be back in action Wednesday, Aug. 26, when it travels to play at River Valley. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Red Raiders were unable to come away from their season opener with a victory, falling at home to the visiting Hillclimbers.
London will get another stiff test Wednesday, Aug. 26, when it travels to Gahanna to take on Columbus Academy. The Vikings have one of the best programs in the state, and are coming off a season-opening loss to Jonathan Alder.
West Jefferson 3
The Roughriders scored three goals, but that wasn’t enough to score a victory in their opener Saturday against visiting Northeastern.
Licking Valley 245,
The Madison-Plains girls golf team went to Longaberger Golf Course to play Licking Valley Thursday and came home with a disappointing defeat.
Licking Valley won the match with a 245, Plains was well behind with its 267.
The physical difference of the course proved to be the biggest hurdle the Golden Eagles had to overcome.
“Our girls were not use to walking all of those hills,” Plains coach Jim Miller said.
Christan Bowshier was co-medalist with her round of 47. Blair Bryant fired a 69, Regan Rubel had 74 and Connor Hunter carded a 77.
Alder finishes third
at Union County Classic
The Jonathan Alder boys golf team fired a round of 340 Saturday and finished third (out of four) at the Union County Classic held at the Marysville Golf Club.
Marysville won the event with a 318, and was followed by Fairbanks (334), Alder (340) and North Union (464).
The Pioneers Logan Woods and Jon Peters fired matching rounds of 82. Joey Petrella (83) and Zach Walbom (93) also carded competitive rounds for the Pioneers.
Chris Miles can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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