GENOA – Genoa-Kingston soccer boys coach Randy Tate knew he’d have to find goal-scoring from new sources this year after Daily Chronicle All-Area forwards Chris Camargo and Devon Tijerna graduated last year.
On Thursday, he found plenty of them.
Five Cogs scored in a 6-0 win over Indian Creek on Thursday, when G-K controlled the match from the start.
“We’re looking for everybody to score, especially out of the midfield, and trying to get our forwards more involved,” Tate said. “Today, I think we did that.”
The Cogs (3-4) scored less than 30 seconds in when junior Daniel Villagran played a cross to sophomore Tommy Hansen, who placed his shot into the lower corner of the net.
They scored again eight minutes later, when senior Cris Beltran gathered a loose ball in the penalty area and beat the Indian Creek goalkeeper.
Throughout the half, the Timberwolves (1-4) began to build the momentum and almost tied the score with 24 minutes left, when senior Gavin Eberly’s header went just over the cross bar.
“I thought we played better in the first half after we let in a couple,” Indian Creek coach Eric Schrader said. “We made some adjustments and we did OK there.”
But the Cogs struck again just 17 seconds into the second half, when senior Uriel Ortega played a through ball to sophomore Juan Lechuga, who found the back of the net.
Late in the half, Eric Garcia put his name on the score sheet when he finished a cross from William Crozier into an open goal.
A few minutes later, Crozier intercepted an Indian Creek clearance and slotted home a goal before Garcia topped off the win with another goal in the waning minutes.
“It’s tough when you give up a goal in the first 19 seconds and then to turn around and do it in the second half 15 seconds in, I just told them, you guys buried yourselves right off the bat,” Schrader said. “That’s kind of our story of the season, where we play okay in the first half and then we just run out of gas. We have so many fresh-soph playing, trying to get used to longer game.”
After starting the season with a 7-0 loss to Somonauk, the Cogs have turned their season around. On Wednesday, they played defending Big Northern Conference champion Harvard tightly before losing 2-1, and on Thursday, they played one of their better games of the young season.
“We’re finally starting to get together as a team, everybody finding their roles and playing those roles,” Tate said. “We’re trying to not be so individual, trying to pass and set the other person up to score.”
While the Cogs don’t have two high-volume goalscorers like they did last year, Ortega thinks his team will be just fine.
“Maybe [we won’t score] as much goals and stuff, but with the mids, we can make things possible,” Ortega said. “It’s not about how much we score, it’s about playing with our hearts … We’re practicing a lot with our crosses and our cutting, trying to get goals at the top of the box. Playing balls wide and keeping our diamond shapes going, we’re training every day.”