The Boonville Pirates soccer team finally got the monkey off its back when it comes to playing the Oak Grove Panthers.
In the season opener for both teams Tuesday night at the BHS Sports Complex, the Pirates picked up its first shutout in convincing fashion by beating the Panthers 2-0.
While out-shooting the Panthers 41-8, head coach Tim Brown said other than falling fast asleep at the beginning of the second half, the Pirates pretty much had control of the match.
“Oak Grove has a talented player in midfield who we had trouble keeping up with early on, but once we isolated and contained him, our defense made him mostly a non-factor, and the only clear chance we allowed on our goalkeeper was the goal,” Brown said. “On attack, especially in the first half, we did a very good job of protecting and sharing the ball up the field, and we had Oak Grove trying to chase us around the pitch. As the match went on, we played more 50/50 balls and tried a lot more 1 vs. 1 instead of continuing what created so many shots for us in the first half.”
Brown went on to comment that although shooting was a major issue for the Pirates, they still had 41 shot attempts but only managed 22 on target and two goals. He said the team simply must do a better job of hitting the goal rather than the post/bar or smashing the ball wide/over the top.
But all in all, Brown said it was a very entertaining match, and it is the first time the Pirates have ever defeated Oak Grove and the first time they have ever been 1-0.
The Pirates definitely set the tone early in the match while controlling the ball against Oak Grove. Meanwhile, at the 5 minute mark in the first half, freshman Alec Adair scored on an assist from Tyler Drew to make it 1-0. Then, right before the half at the 39 minute mark, freshman Philip Udinyiwe assisted junior Nolan Shikles on a shot right in front of the net to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Pirates and Panthers played to a draw in the second half. However the damage had already been done as Boonville out-shot Oak Grove 22-6 on shot on goals.
Senior goalie Nathan Green also recorded his first shutout of the season with five saves.
Boonville also won the junior varsity match against Oak Grove 4-0.
The Pirates led 3-0 at the half, with senior Brendan Twenter scoring on an assist from freshman Allan Wilkinson at the 6 minute mark. Then, at the 10-minute mark to go up 2-0, Wilkinson again assisted freshman Brady Gholson. Junior Noah Lammers then teamed up with Nathan Green on a goal at the 16 minute mark to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Pirates scored one more goal in the second half when Wilkinson picked up his third assists of the night on a goal from sophomore Kaleb Buhr at the 38 minute mark.
Brown said the JV team had been getting frustrated having to play the varsity squad in a half a dozen scrimmages during preseason, but they protected and moved the ball fairly well in their first live match.
“The defense also played well, allowing only a couple chances on their rookie goalkeeper,” Brown said.
Boonville’s JV finished the match with 19 shot attempts and 11 shots on goal while Oak Grove had only six shot attempts and four shots on goal.
Sophomore goalie Matt Shafer also had four saves in the match for Boonville, 1-0 overall.