Winds change for MPHS soccer team
Sky-Hi Daily News
After struggling through some tough losses, Middle Park High School’s boys soccer team bounced back to pick up two solid victories since last weekend.
The Panthers defeated the Denver School of Science and Technology by a score of 5-2 in a home game Saturday. They followed it up with a 6-1 victory over Summit County in another home game Monday.
“We finally broke out of our slump,” said Coach Shawn McElroy. “It was great to get these two wins.”
In Saturday’s 5-2 win, the Denver School of Science and Technology got on the scoreboard first with a goal after the first 10 minutes of play, but Middle Park retaliated with two of its own before the first half ended.
“We were up 2-1 at halftime and then we raised it to 4-1 in the second half. We were comfortably in the lead before the other team got their second goal late in the second half. Then we finished the game off with one final goal.”
Panther junior Elliott Levett earned two of the team’s goals. Robert Johnson, Oscar Hernandez and Connor Barnes earned single goals. Hernandez and Barnes also picked up assists for Saturday’s game.
“We tried a new formation with three forwards,” McElroy said. “It was the first time this season we tried it and it worked really well. Our forwards Oscar Hernandez, Elliott Levett and Robert Johnson did a great job generating a lot of pressure on the other team. We made 29 shots on goal during that game which was outstanding.”
The win was the Panthers’ first conference victory. Their 2008 league record now stands at 1-1.
Middle Park used its new formation to even better effect during Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Summit County. The Panthers completely dominated the first half of the game, scoring all six of its goals.
“We made those goals in the first 30 minutes of the first half,” McElroy said. “It was pretty fast and furious.”
Elliott Levett earned two of the team’s six goals. Goals were also made by Brandon Cronin, Bartosz Koczera, Connor Barnes and French exchange student Stephane Jerzyk.
“After making those six goals, we then brought in our freshmen to give them some experience and started trying some of our varsity players in new positions,” McElroy said. “We really concentrated on working on possession. Summit tried hard, but this was our win.”
With less then two minutes left on the game clock, Summit finally scored. They staved off a shutout by knocking the ball into the net on a corner kick.
McElroy praised the play of freshman Justin Coucke and sophomores Brandon Rosas and Simeon Anderson.
“They played pretty well in this game and I have no complaints about the effort any of our players made,” he said. “Once we got into the rhythm of the game, our guys played very well.”
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