by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley boys soccer team had multiple opportunities.
In Monday’s Suburban White Conference match with William Chrisman, Grain Valley dominated possession; however, goalkeeper Trevor Jolley made it tough on them.
The Eagles had six shots on goal in the first half and were unable to get one past the talented goalkeeper as he stopped all five shots.
But in the second half, the Eagles broke through as junior Ethan Galvan and Alexander Luna put shots in the back of the net to help the team earn a 2-0 victory at home.
“We probably had 17 or 18 shots,” Lewis said. "We made a lot more passes and kept more possessions than they did. For the flow of the game, we dominated. We just had to focus on being clinical and making that last run through.”
In the first half, Eagles senior Austin Schmitt had a sharp kick from just outside the box stopped by Jolley on a diving save. The sophomore goalkeeper also stopped a pair of close-range shots from Grain Valley senior Owen White, which included a challenge that Jolley won where he dove and blocked the ball as White shot it.
After both teams went into halftime tied at 0, Galvan said he and the team was confident that it would break through. He helped the Eagles do just that when he received a through ball from White and made a run through the middle of the Chrisman penalty box and powered a shot through Jolley and into the net for a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute.
“We dominated possession, so it was only a matter of time before we got behind the back line and put one in,” said Galvan, who scored his second goal of the season. “We caught their back line slipping, one of their guys was out of position, so I just ran in open space and scored.”
The Bears had a couple of opportunities to tie it, with the best opportunity coming on a shot from Giovanny Salas Andrade from the far left side of the field. He hit a rocket that appeared to be headed inside the left post of the Grain Valley goal. However, Eagles goalkeeper Landon Jaynes made a diving save to help his team keep the lead.
Sophomore Alexander Luna, who had recently been getting more playing time, made a run in the middle of the Chrisman box and he also got a through ball from White and was able to punch one into the right side of the net in the 71st minute for a 2-0 lead.
“I am super happy, it’s my first goal of the season,” Luna said. “It was a really good pass from Owen White.”
Lewis noted that Luna missed the first two weeks of the preseason due to being in Mexico and has worked his way into soccer shape.
“He came back late. He was in Mexico for most of the summer, so I haven’t seen him play a whole lot,” Lewis said. “He hadn’t played since early June. It was about me seeing him play and seeing where he’d fit when he came back.”
“He wasn’t super fit when he came back from Mexico. I think he knew that I saw him in an expanded varsity role, but I think he knew he needed to get his fitness up and get his legs under him. I have been using him more and more the last couple of games.”
Both Luna and Galvan credited White for their goals as they praised their senior teammate for being a key playmaker for the Eagles (5-5, 1-1 White Conference).
“Owen has been crazy for us this year,” Galvan said. “He’s been handling the ball a lot and scoring a lot of goals. He’s dominating out there.”
Added Lewis: “(Austin Schmitt and Owen White) are the ones who create the most opportunities for us and they often put the pass in that leads to a goal.”
Goalkeeper Landon Jaynes made a diving save to help his team keep the lead. Photo credit: Clara Jaques
Sophomore Alexander Luna, who had recently been getting more playing time, made a run in the middle of the Chrisman box and he also got a through ball from Senior Owen White and was able to punch one into the right side of the net in the 71st minute for a 2-0 lead. Photo credit: Clara Jaques
9/28/2022 05:45:31 am
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