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Gaels reign starts in rain vs. Cougars

September 27, 2005|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Even bad weather has trouble ruining a good soccer match.

St. Maria Goretti and Jefferson sloshed through a heavy rain shower for nearly all of Monday's Apple Valley League boys soccer match. In the end, the Gaels weathered the storm for a 2-0 victory over the Cougars.

Goretti (9-2-1, 4-2) clinched the AVL championship with the victory because only the first game between league members counts in the standing.

"I am very proud of our team today," Goretti coach Mike Long said. "I surprised them with a new and our fourth formation 45 minutes before the match. It took us the first 20 minutes to get used to it. It was pretty sloppy during the first 20 minutes."

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Once the Gaels got the feel for the new look, everything seemed to come together.

"We started to look much more comfortable during the end of the first half and throughout the second half," Long said. "Once we got used to the new formation, the results speak for themselves."

Goretti's senior goalkeeper Kevin Brashears had 23 saves for his fifth straight shutout.

"We kept a clean sheet for five matches thanks to Kevin's late penalty save," Long said. "I honestly believed that if Kevin had chosen soccer over all of his other sports, that he could have played Division I or possibly even professional soccer. He is really a great athlete. I think the overall defense has grown together throughout this season. They stepped up today and had a big solid match."

Goalkeeper Danny Saum made 11 saves for Jefferson (6-6-1, 3-3).

The Gaels broke the scoreless tie in the 25th minute of the first half when senior midfielder Jon Widmyer stormed up the middle to score an unassisted goal.

The Gaels added insurance in the 53rd minute when senior striker Michael Cushwa scored off an assist from senior back Andrew Chambers in the middle of the field.

"Both of our goals were scored by taking advantage of opportunities that were given us and both finishes were top-class," Long said. "I just hope that we can keep this level of play up for the rest of the season. We play a lot of matches and it takes its toll."

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