Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2005

Soccer coasts to perfection

September 8, 2005

Finally, CJ Garrett did it.

Early in the first half of last Thursday's game against Eudora, Garrett got the ball and planted it cleanly in the back of the net.

It was Garrett's first goal of the season, and it was De Soto's first goal not scored by the electric combination of Zach England and Brady Seaman.

De Soto swept through relatively weak competition last week, defeating three schools in seven days, all on the road, cumulating the run with a 6-0 win Tuesday against Atchison to stay undefeated, now 4-0.

"CJ's been getting a little frustrated the last couple games," De Soto coach Darren Erpelding said. "He's been getting open, but hasn't been able to put the ball away."

Last Thursday, he finally found his grove. Garrett scored twice in the first half against Eudora, keying a 6-1 win in the middle game of the Wildcats' busy week.

England and Seaman proved more than enough in De Soto's other appearances.

After Seaman turned in a hat trick in the team's season opener, a 5-1 win against Perry-Lecompton, England, just a sophomore but Erpelding's preseason pick to lead the team in scoring, matched him with three goals in last Wednesday's 5-1 win against Basehor-Linwood.

England was unstoppable versus the Bobcats, netting nearly every ball that came to him. He scored two in the opener, but drew criticism from Erpelding for trying to do too much.

England more than made up for it, however.

"Zach was awesome," Erpelding said. "He's becoming a very unselfish player."

The unselfishness wasn't evident until the Eudora contest though.

After Seaman and England had combined to score all 10 goals in De Soto's first two games, Garrett finally got in the mix.

"There was a couple times he could have very easily taken a shot (against Eudora) but he dished it off to someone else who got a good shot," Erpelding said. "That's what we need. Zach and Brady can't do it all."

The road tested Wildcats took on Atchison last, putting together was Erpelding called the most complete game so far.

Seaman scored his first of two to get things started. England added a pair and Garrett and TJ Blankenship each scored one.

"We just played really well," Erpelding said.

Atchison tried to slow De Soto's recently-hot offense by packing around the goal, hoping to win a low-scoring affair.

A balanced attack based on short passes still overwhelmed them, however.

"They had nine guys playing defense. It took us awhile to score, but we played great team ball, some of the best we've played it," he said. "We used everybody in passing and stringing passes together and Atchison looked very confused on defense."

Now the team enters the week it's been waiting for. A final road test awaits Thursday at Paola, and next Tuesday the Wildcats will confront their toughest test of the season in KC Christian.

Christian beat De Soto twice last season, including a late-season loss that ended the Wildcats' season.

"We've got a tough one against Paola," Erpelding said. "But Christian, that's the one we're really excited about."

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