Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 22, 2018

Mt. Pleasant boys upended by Trojans

Panthers lose tight one at East Lake Park, pick up first loss of season
Apr 16, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Payton Kelly (left) keeps the ball in bounds on the near sideline during Mt. Pleasant’s 2-1 loss to Fairfield on Friday evening.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Mt. Pleasant and Fairfield met on Friday evening for a hard-fought Southeast Conference matchup at East Lake Park, but the Panther boys’ soccer team had to settle for a 2-1 loss, their first defeat of the season.

The two teams felt each other out early, trading attempts in the first half. Both teams had a couple of promising rushes in the first half, but neither could break through and the two squads went into halftime tied 0-0.

After a drizzly first half, the skies opened up a bit in the second half and that led to more up-and-down play and a handful of quality attempts both ways. The first major chance came for Fairfield after a Chaysten Titus steal turned into a 3-1 odd-man rush, but the Trojan shot went wide and the score stayed 0-0, at least for the time being.

Fairfield finally broke through 15 minutes into the second half. Xavier Kapijimpanga put the Trojans on the board with a sliding goal that just escaped the reach of Panther keeper Nathan Rauenbuhler. With 25:22 showing on the clock, Fairfield led 1-0.

Mt. Pleasant nearly tied the game up less than a minute later when Payton Kelly found some room at the top of the box, but his shot went over the cross bar and the Panthers still trailed.

Kyle Medina had a good attempt with 12:20 left in the game. He found a little space and sent one towards the net, but Fairfield keeper Maxwell Anderson made a diving stop to preserve the Trojan lead.

Mt. Pleasant pushed up in the final minutes, but Fairfield countered with a couple of rushes the other way. With just under four minutes left, Leone Gichure broke free on a deep pass up the near sideline and scored a dagger goal to make it 2-0.

The Panthers didn’t go away without a fight. Kelly knocked in a goal with just 43 seconds left to cut the Trojan lead in half, but Mt. Pleasant ran out of time and picked up their first loss of the year.

“We just didn’t play as well as we have in the last couple of games,” Mt. Pleasant coach Neil Schmidt said after the loss. “Once we realized we could be scored on, their intensity level picked up and we really outplayed them, but just too little too late. If we would have played that whole first half like we did in the second, it would have been a much different outcome.”

Mt. Pleasant fell to 2-1 on the year. If the weather holds up, they’ll try to bounce back in an SEC home game today (Monday) against Ft. Madison at 4:30 p.m.

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