Friday, September 27, 2019

Cohen scores goal in loss to Bombers


Defender Cade Hausman, a junior, dribbles the ball down the field in the second half. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
After a 2-1 decision on Thursday, the St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team lost its 11th contest this season in a home brouhaha against Argenta-Oreana. Despite underwhelming crowd support undermining their home field advantage, the Spartans' effort was one of the best this season so far as a cohesive unit.

"It was the first night we tried a new formation," said head coach Dan Vogelsang happy with out the team performed. "We have enough games left before the postseason starts when we get this down, we're going to be good."

Other than a breakdown in front of the north goal with 3:15 to play in the first half when Argenta-Oreana's Landon Lawson chipped the ball past two SJO defenders and their keeper from 10 feet out into the goal, the Spartans were clearly in charge of the game's momentum.

After the intermission, Luke Cohen rallied the Spartans on a free kick to tie up the non-conference contest.

It was more of the same for the remainder of the second half as St. Joseph-Ogden player rotated in and out to familiarize themselves with field positioning.

Later in the period, Ethan Neufeld kicked at 20-footer into the south goal for the go-ahead and game-winning Bomber goal.
Raegan Crippen dribbles the ball down the field for SJO.
Raegan Crippen moves the ball down the field away from Argenta-Oreana defenders during first half action. Though 2-11-2, the Spartans are making improvements to prepare for a long postseason run. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks.


The new formation afforded Vogelsang's young squad more shots on their opponents goal. SJO took nine shots, three which were post bumpers, on the Argenta-Oreana's goal thanks to playing a more physical game.

In Thursday's game, players were not shoved of the ball and giving up possession as easily as they had in past games. The new formation opened up better passing lanes while simultaneously moving the ball down the field with support players in place.

"It was good to see teammates taking up for each other," Vogelsang added, hoping it will carry over for SJO into the IHSA playoffs where they will likely face the top seed in the first round. If their first opponent is focused on the Spartans' regular season record, he thinks his team could wreck havoc in their bracket. "I told the players there is no reason to worry about facing the number one seed if we get this down."

Brayden Grimsey
Spartan senior Brayden Grimsey keeps the ball away from Argenta-Oreana's Tyler Heldt during first half action of their non-conference game. SJO will host Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Westville in another non-conference match on Saturday morning starting at 9am. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks.

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