COCOLAMUS - After his team's 6-0 win over cross-county rival Juniata on Thursday, East Juniata boys soccer coach Don Troutman said that it wasn't a typical Juniata-East Juniata match.
Maybe he was right. Where these rivalry matches are typically highly charged and competitive, it was clear early in the match that the Tigers were going to run away with the win.
The spirit of rivalry was still evident, and Juniata fought hard until the last whistle, but it was quite evidently the Tigers' game all the way through.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
East Juniata’s Nick Lorenz, right, heads the ball past Juniata’s Brandon Becker (1) during their soccer match Thursday evening in Cocolamus.
The Tigers struck less than five minutes into the game, when Devin Goodling and Nick Lorenz put together two beautiful passes which ended in a Landon Sheaffer goal. From that point on, East Juniata just wouldn't stop, and scored five more goals in the first half.
"We really finished our chances tonight. We created opportunities early, and we finished our chances," Troutman said.
These opportunities Troutman spoke of came in many different shapes and forms. Two of East Juniata's goals came from corner kicks. Jake Sankey scored one goal off a deflected save from Juniata keeper Matt Coldren. Devin Goodling found the net by himself after drawing Coldren out then chipping it over his head. Nick Lorenz scored one from far out after getting a nice feed from Dalton Smith.
* East Juniata travels to Line Mountain?Tuesday
* Juniata travels to Greenwood Tuesday
The two goals scored from corner kicks were Sheaffer's, which combined with his first goal resulted in a hat trick.
During the second half both teams kept up the intensity, but the scoring came to a stop. Juniata coach Clint Brackbill admitted part of this was the fact that many of East Juniata was rotating players in and out of the game, but he also gave his own team credit for answering the challenge and continuing to play tough in the second half.
"(East Juniata) didn't have the same personnel the second half like they did the first half, but we talked about some things at half time and challenged (our boys) a little bit, and I think most of them stepped up," Brackbill said.
Both coaches feel they learned something important from the game. Troutman, who was playing short a few of his regular starters, was pleased with the way some of his other guys stepped up to take fill those spots.
"I think it shows the team has a lot of character. It also helps us because now we can look at those guys and say, 'Yeah, we can use them in those spots later down the road,'" Troutman said.
Brackbill said the game was a good way for his team to experience the kind of competition East Juniata brings to the table, and that it will be a good experience for his team to build upon.
"I think this was good for us, especially at this time of year. We've got a whole second half of our season ahead, so we can build on this and see where we can go from it," Brackbill said.
On Tuesday, East Juniata (7-1, 5-0) travels to Tri-Valley League opponent Line Mountain, while Juniata (2-4, 2-3) travels to TVL opponent Greenwood.