Blue Eagle Co-Ed Soccer Team Wins Two, Drops One
The 2010 Magnolia Co-Ed Soccer Team scored seven goals in its season opener victory against the Oak Glen Golden Bears, including a pair of goals by Evan Heslep and Saris “Just” Kongpichetkel, while Michael “Dink” Jones, Issac Howell, and James Long each found the back of the net in a 7-4 drubbing on the Eagles’ home turf.
Heslep took a cross from Howell early in the first half and drilled it between the nets for the Eagles’ first score. A few minutes later, “Just” controlled a pass from his defensive unit and let sail a shot from Steelton to score his first American goal that gave the mighty Blue Eagles a commanding 2-0 lead early in the first half.
Magnolia’s starting defenders – Winters at goal keeper, Andrew Stackpole and Chase Croasmun at fullbacks, and Jason Long and Trevor Long at stopper and sweeper – controlled their turf very well. Meanwhile, the midfield of Heslep and Ethan Arman on the outside and Jones and “Just” in the middle, controlled the game with their outstanding passing and teamwork. Strikers Chase Cain and Howell made the Golden Bear defense sputter with their pin-point passing and shooting skills that set up most of the Eagle scoring.
At the 10 minute mark of the first half, Arman sailed a nifty cross to James Long, who just entered the game as a substitute and leaped high in the air to one-touch the pass in the back of the net for the Eagles’ third tally.
Shortly afterward, Eagle goal Winters was drawn out of position going for a save, but a Bear forward would tap the loose ball into the back of net for the Bears’ first shot, three-fourths into the first half of action.
With about five minutes remaining in the first half, Howell made a nifty move for the fourth MHS goal, assisted by Kongpichetkel. Heslep would then score right before the half for his second goal of the half off a corner kick by Jones.
In the first half, Magnolia bombarded Oak Glen with a fusillade of shots, while Winters only had to make three saves, and one outstanding non-goalie save by Arman.
The Blue Eagle Soccer Team emerged co-ed when the girls’ team didn’t have enough players for its own coach, so this team had never played together before. And the girls were only able to practice with the boys for just over one week and didn’t expect to get much playing time.
But, with the fast start, MHS Head Coach Brian Jones went to his bench quite a bit and the girls did get plenty of opportunities to showcase their talents against the boys.
However, the Bears took advantage of the situation early in the second half and scored a pair of goals to climb back into contention. But, Jones didn’t let the two quick scores bother him and the players rallied around him and Assistant Coach Heidi Johnson.
Oak Glen netted another goal, but they were called for an offside violation and the goal was waved off.
Kongpichetkel drilled a shot that caromed off the Golden Bear keeper and Michael Jones would get the large number of Eagle fans excited midway through the second half, when he curved a corner kick into the back of the net for the seventh Magnolia tally.
Trevor Long ended the game with a nice slide tackle.
The Blue Eagles outshot their guests by a 25-9 margin, with most of the Bear shots coming when most of Magnolia’s starters were on the sidelines.
Winters made four saves, while Eric Piekarski made the other five, including two outstanding saves.
“I think one of the biggest keys was our passing,” said Coach Jones. “We also played outstanding defense and we were missing one of our defensive standouts. Overall, we did all right. We limited their shots and were able to get a lot of kids into the game.”
But, before the varsity game ever got started, a junior varsity match kicked off the 2010 season at the Eagles’ Hydro Field.
Most of this game was played by subs from both teams. Being that the girls’ season was nixed only a week before, the majority of the Eagles on the field were girls. But, they held their own against the boys from Oak Glen.
Sophomore Sydney Smith scored the season’s first goal off an assist by Caleb McCune to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The score stayed the same until midway in the second half, when the Bears launched a high one overtop the Eagles’ Piekarski.
The game ended in a tie. The girls played inspired soccer. MHS junior defender Kayla Robinson stood out, making several nice steals and challenging the boys in Gold at every opportunity. Other girls that excelled included Smith, Robinson, Kari Forrester, Stephanie Mullett, Jennie Emch, Nicole Schoolcraft, and Logan Dulaney.
The second soccer match of the Blue Eagle second was against sectional rival Tyler Consolidated on Aug. 26 at New Martinsville’s Hydo Field. Magnolia scored early in the first half on a kick by Cain. However, the Knights’ Justin Cooper had a goal and and an assist, while Einar Mellem and Skylar Kinnard each tallied a goal to offset a goal by the Blue Eagles’ Kongpichetkel to win 3-2.
Winters was in goal for the Eagles and turned away 10 shots.
Magnolia got back to its winning ways against Shenandoah on Aug. 28 with an easy defeat of the Zeps’ co-ed team, 10-2.
Scoring for the Eagles were Howell, Cain, MuCune, Michael Jones, Smith, and Hillary Malec, all with one goal apiece, while Stephanie Mullett and Kongpichetkel each recorded two goals.
Winters started at goal and recorded four saves, while Piekarski turned away six shots. Magnolia made 10 of their 33 shot attempts, while Shenandoah made two.
Magnolia will host Trinity Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.