Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 19, 2018

Mt. Pleasant boys bounce back

Panthers score three in the first half, hold on for 3-2 victory
Apr 17, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Noel Lopez celebrates after his goal in the first half.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

The Panthers came out hungry on Monday evening after suffering a tough loss on Friday. The Mt. Pleasant boys’ soccer team took their boiled-over frustrations out on Ft. Madison, scoring three goals in the first half and withstanding a Bloodhound comeback attempt for a 3-2 win.

The Mt. Pleasant offense didn’t take long to get going. The Panthers began the game with rush after rush at the Bloodhound keeper and kept the ball on their offensive side for the majority of the first half.

The first goal of the game went to Hoi Phung. He found some space in top-middle portion of the box and fired a shot towards the net. The shot deflected off a Ft. Madison defender and into the net, making it 1-0 Panthers with 21:45 left in the first half.

It took just over eight minutes for Mt. Pleasant to find its way back onto the scoreboard. Payton Kelly passed the ball to Jadyn Vongsavath, who popped it up for Cade Warner, and Warner fired it past the Bloodhound keeper to make it 2-0.

The Bloodhounds looked like they could get out of the half with just a two-goal deficit, but Noel Lopez had other plans. With just one minute remaining in the half, Lopez bombed a shot from the far side of the field. The ball made its way over the keeper’s head, and the Panthers took a commanding 3-0 lead into the break.

The Bloodhounds didn’t make it easy on the Panthers in the second half, however. In fact, Ft. Madison put the pressure on right away, scoring in the first four minutes of the period.

Mt. Pleasant was called for a hand ball in the box with 36:10 showing on the clock. A.J. Nolting lined up to take the penalty kick for the Bloodhounds, and he fired it past Panther keeper Nathan Rauenbuhler to cut the lead to 3-1.

Mt. Pleasant had plenty of shots to earn a little breathing room throughout the second half, including one shot off the cross bar, but the Bloodhounds hung around long enough to make it a game.

With 5:21 left in the game, the Bloodhounds again capitalized on a Mt. Pleasant mistake. The Panthers were called for a foul just outside the box and that set up Nolting for a direct kick. He found a good spot to shoot the ball and the Panther lead was down to one goal at 3-2.

Rauenbuhler and the Mt. Pleasant defense was tested directly after the second Bloodhound goal, but the Panthers answered the call in the final five minutes, keeping Ft. Madison out of the net and locking up a Southeast Conference win.

“I talked to them before the game (and said) we need to get back to the way we played the first two games of the season and not Friday’s Fairfield game,” Coach Neil Schmidt said after the win. “They listened. They responded, played some great passes. (We were) moving the ball well, and that usually leads to goals, so we did a great job there.”

The Panther boys moved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in SEC play. Their final conference game of the first half will be in Washington on Monday, April 23. That game is set to start at 4:30 p.m.

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