DeKALB – In its first two games of the season, the DeKalb boy’s soccer team scored seven goals en rout to a 2-0 record and a spot in the Barb Cup Final against Sterling on Saturday.
And the DeKalb scoring continued.
The Barbs scored early and often to record a 5-0 win over the Warriors to win the Barb Cup at DeKalb High School. Junior forward Trevor Freeland led the way with two goals.
“We played really good,” Freeland said. “We started off slow in the first 10 minutes, but then we started to pick it up at end of the first half and we kept that going into the second.”
DeKalb head coach Brent McIntosh was satisfied with his squad’s performance.
“I thought today we came out with a real good mentality. We talked a lot about how this is a real good foundation for our season,” McIntosh said. “I was real pleased with how we approached the game and it gave us a lot of experience in games like this for the future.”
The Barbs threatened early in the match and almost scored twice within the first 10 minutes. DeKalb finally broke through the Sterling defense with a goal in the 14th minute.
After a Sterling foul broke up a possible breakaway, junior Owen Smith lined up a free kick inside the half-line. Smith played the ball 30 yards into the box and Dylan Hottsmith nodded it into the back of the net to give the Barbs a 1-0 lead.
DeKalb’s second goal came off another set piece — this time a corner kick. Misha Ryzhov curled the ball in, Deven Hill headed it home and the Barbs were in control.
“We actually have been working on both offensive and defensive set pieces,” McIntosh said. “We have been working on setting walls and services into the box.I was real pleased that we got our first two goals off set pieces and headers at that.”
Towards the end of the first half, Freeland scored both of his goals within a minute of each other. In the 29th minute, Freeland received a pass from Esteban Ibarra and Freeland put it past the Sterling keeper. Freeland’s second goal came 30 seconds later after Hottsmith slotted a pass into the box that Freeland finished.
“The first one was a real nice through ball sent to me. I knew what I had to do so I just slotted past (the goalie). And, the other one, we did that all last year and all of my freshman year. Just a nice little finish,” Freeland said.
The fifth and final goal was scored by Akim Suraji seven minutes into the second half.
“This is probably the best game of the tournament so far. We did a lot better in terms of controlling the game through our midfield play and utilizing our strengths on the wings,” Smith said. “Overall, I thought we did much better playing as a team.”
The DeKalb backline held onto the shutout and have now only conceded one goal in three matches. McIntosh said that he wanted his team to take a “clean sheet mentality” and Smith made sure that back four made that happen.
“It is always great to keep that clean sheet,” Smith said. “It is one of the things that coach stressed was to keep that clean sheet and keep that zero up on the board.”
Owen Sawyer will get credited with the shutout after making three saves. DeKalb improves its record to 3-0 and will play McHenry Tuesday night at home.