The Glenwood boys soccer team got a look at some of the top teams in Nebraska’s largest class this weekend at the Dave and Carol Van Metre Soccer Classic at Cornie Collin Field in Omaha.
Host Omaha South, the No. 3 ranked team in the state of Nebraska, knocked off the Rams 2-0 in the tournament opener. Glenwood bounced back in game two Saturday afternoon to defeat No. 4 ranked Millard West 3-2.
“I wanted us to play somebody different and somebody tough and I think we accomplished that,” said Glenwood coach Mike Artist. “I wanted us to compete and I think we did that for the most part. We learned we need to play faster and learn that one or two passes and getting into transitions creates opportunities for us.”
The quick, athletic Packers attacked Glenwood (6-2 overall, 3-1 in the Hawkeye 10 Conference) all game long and held a 23-2 shots on goal advantage midway through the second half in a 2-0 win.
“That was the difference as far as I was concerned,” said Artist of South’s team speed. “They’re quick and they have great soccer awareness. We had some chances. Even though we lost it was good to see us compete against a team like that.”
Artist called the Packers the best team he’s seen in “several” years.
Against Millard West the Rams’ scored the game’s first three goals and never looked back.
“Millard West is probably just as good as South but they have to different styles of play,” said Artist. “We matched up better with West than South.”
The Wildcats held an 18-6 edge in shots on goal but Glenwood maximized opportunities, said Artist.
Tyler Jensen got on the board first for Glenwood with a goal and Beau Johnson added a penalty kick goal a few minutes later. The Rams’ third goal came on an “own goal” by Millard West went a defensemen attempt to clear a ball to his goalkeeper and the ball looped over the keeper’s head into the goal.
Artist commended the play of his own keeper, junior Matt Schulz.
“This was probably the best game he’s played in three years,” said Artist. “He took shots and pretty much stopped them all. He had some great saves. He really had a terrific day. Our whole defense did.”
The Glenwood boys soccer team suffered its first loss of the season on Thursday with a 1-0 loss to Creston.
The Panthers scored the game’s lone goal early and was determined to sit back on that lead and play defense, said Artist.
The coaching decision worked.
“Creston is a good, athletic team,” said Artist. “They have good players but they slipped that in on us and they settled to play defense all night with eight guys back. We pounded and pounded them and missed shot after shot. We didn’t play bad, we created opportunities. It’s just hard to get going against an eight man defense.”
The Rams out shot the Panthers’ 20-3 but not one found the net for Glenwood.
“You hate to lose a game like that when you pretty much dominate but I hope we can take something from this game,” said Artist.
Zac Sorensen and Trenton McNeel each scored two goals and Steve Gutschenritter, Blake Beier and Beau Johnson added scored for the Glenwood boys soccer team in a 7-0 rout of Atlantic last Tuesday.
“They (Atlantic) have good numbers and good talent but they don’t have our ability or our experience,” said Artist. “This was a game we just wanted to get through and get some kids in and score goals.”