ARGOS — The Argos Dragons got off to a slow start Tuesday night at Eugene Snyder Field but were able to overcome that sluggish start in the second half and defeat the LaVille Lancers by a score of 5-0.
The Lancers came out with a defensive mindset from the start, hoping to slow down the potent Dragon attack.
“I knew we had to play a defensive game against Argos, and that’s what we did,” said LaVille coach Tom Kline. “I was very pleased with the way they played. This is the best game they have played all year for me. My keeper kept us alive. Sophomore Jackson Jones is a great goalie.”
The first half saw the Dragons with plenty of scoring chances, but they weren’t able to come up with anything for it.
Most of their chances were disrupted by either Jones at keeper or the pesky Lancer defense, which forced most of the shot attempts wide of the goal. “We did not execute very well in the first half, and I think a lot of the credit for that has to go to LaVille. They came out ready to play and played very well,” said Argos coach Todd VanDerWeele. “They were very organized defensively. We only had two shots on goal for all that possession time. We were definitely struggling.”
Things began to change in the second half as the Dragons were starting to find some openings in the Lancer defense and were able to adjust their game plan.
“In the second half, they wore us down a little bit, but we got them off their game in the first half. It’s what kept us alive. We knew what we had to do,” said Kline.
Once Argos adjusted their plan of attack, things started to break open for them as they were able to record seven shots on goal, scoring on five of those opportunities.
Argos scored its first goal in the 49th minute as freshman Vincent Stone sent one towards the goal. It bounced off a LaVille defender, and sophomore Chandler Campbell was able to knock it in from there. Then, just a few minutes later in the 56th minute, junior Damon Binkley connected with a streaking senior Sean Mullaney, who raced past the Lancer defense and was able to find the back of the net.
Those two goals broke the ice for the Dragons, who were finally able to do the things they wanted to do on the field.
“Any time you are in a situation in soccer, it doesn’t matter your team level, the longer you go without success, the more you feel like you are struggling,” said VanDerWeele. “Once you have that success you can keep building on that. It’s kind of like LaVille keeping us scoreless. The longer they kept us scoreless, the more confidence they were feeling. Once we finally scored, we started moving the ball a bit better with a little crisper passes.”
In the last 10 minutes of the game, the Dragons were able to add three more goals to their total with Josiah Osborn scoring unassisted in the 72nd minute, Campbell scoring his second of the night — again assisted by Stone — in the 73rd minute, and then finally in the 77th minute, junior Damon Binkley was able to find the back of the net off of an assist by Osborn.
VanDerWeele is hoping to get off to faster starts in the future because he knows that his soccer program has a target on its back.
“I’ve been trying to get across to the guys, after the success we have had the last two years, every team is going to give us their best shot,” he said. “We have seen that all year. I am a little worried about the way we are responding to that. We continue to come out without the intensity level we need to have, and we have got to get better at that.”
The Dragons will get the chance to prove they have learned a lesson from Tuesday’s game as they travel to conference foe Lakeland Christian on Thursday for a 5 p.m. start. With this win, the Dragons improve their season record to 4-1.
LaVille soccer will take a week off before resuming play at home against Northern State Conference opponent John Glenn at home in Newton Park next Wednesday.
• ARGOS 5, LaVILLE 0
Chandler Campbell (Vincent Stone), 49th minute
Sean Mullaney (Damon Binkley), 56th minute
Josiah Osborn, 72nd minute
Campbell (V. Stone), 73rd minute
Binkley (Osborn), 77th minute
Shots on goal: Argos 9,LaVille 0
Saves: LaVille 4 (Jackson Jones)
Corners: Argos 20, LaVille 0
Fouls: Argos 9, LaVille 7
Records: Argos 4-1