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Kettle Run boys soccer team explodes past Eastern View, 7-1

Wednesday, Apr. 9 | By Grant Thomas
After a tough 1-0 loss against Tuscarora last Wednesday, the Kettle Run rebounded with a convincing 7-1 home win against Eastern View Friday.

The Cougars (4-1) scored six of their seven goals in the first half. Forwards Evan Szklennik and Jed Dalton exploded out of the gates, each scoring twice within the first 20 minutes.

More soon followed, with a strike by Kevin Oxlaj in the 31st minute and a successful penalty kick in the 35th by Garrett Magill. Kevin Coleman scored the Cougars' only goal in the second half with 20 minutes left.

Eastern View (2-3) was unable to penetrate the Cougars defense for much of the night. Every Cyclone pass was met with a strong defensive challenge.

“We really stress defensive shape. We were able to stay in form and in front. Those are definitely things that we’ve been working on,” said Cougars coach Philip Roper.

Eastern View’s lone goal came with one minute left in the game on a penalty kick by Anthony Hernandez. Kettle Run goalie Jimmy Van Hook was also injured on this play.

Eastern View coach Leo Legora had nothing but praise for the Cougars after the game.

“Kettle Run’s passing and ball handling are excellent, and their defense is almost unbreakable,” said Legora said. “They will go far, they are a great team.”

Kettle Run used a stalwart combination of through passes and crosses to dissect the Cyclones' defense with almost every goal coming from a perfectly placed pass.

The Cougars were also able to capitalize on passes from their midfielders towards the outside of the field, and then centering the ball back in to a scorer.

“We moved the ball around really well. I wanted them to stay wide and open up passing lanes into the middle, and it worked,” said Roper.

The Cougars would have put more goals on the board if it wasn’t for a stellar second-half performance by Eastern View goalie Fernando Rivera. Rivera recorded 16 saves and made multiple stretching saves on breakaway plays from the Cougars. He allowed only one score in the second half.

While Kettle Run never let a scoring opportunity go by, their focus was to slow it down for the last 40 minutes and focus more on passing.

“At halftime, I told them keep it up, stay positive, and keep the ball moving,” Roper said. “We needed to make a conscious effort to scale it back and become more of passing, possession oriented team. Don’t be as aggressive.”

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