Tricky Juniata claps Thunder
BELLEVILLE — The duo of Chase Lehman and Tad Shellenberger led the way for Juniata giving coach Jared Byler his first win at the helm of the Indians with a 10-0 nonleague victory over Belleville Mennonite in boys soccer on Tuesday.
“A win a win — there is no more significance on this win than any other win,” Byler said. “I was just glad to see the guys play a good complete game from our goal keeper all the way up to our strikers.”
“I don’t have the greatest feelings about today’s game — I felt like we gave a fairly poor effort and poor showing today,” Thunder coach Brian Renno said. “Physically, we played below our potential, I really think we did. Mentally we were not in the game. We’re not mentally making good decisions on the field that’s what it comes down to.”
It was just under two minutes into the game when the Indians got on the board thanks to a goal from George Hazard giving Juniata a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the Indians struck again, this time by Chase Lehman. Lehman scored again at the 26-minute mark with a header.
For most of the half, the Thunder defense struggled to get the ball out of their side of the field. Every time a Belleville Mennonite player kicked the ball away from the net it landed right in the waiting arms — well, feet — of a Juniata player, who sent it back into toward the net, keeping the pressure on Thunder goal keeper Rhiley Parks.
At 17:10 in the first Lehman registered a hat trick before Shellenberger added another goal to give the Indians a 5-0 lead going into the break.
“One of the things we wanted to work on was having a fast start,” Byler said. “Last year we had a tendency to get scored on in the first 10 minutes and we want to change that and we want to be the team that scores in the first 10 minutes. So we’ve been doing a lot of things at practice to try and get that mind set in with us and it was nice to see two goals within 10 minutes there.”
Frankie Pannizzo jumped in the net for Belleville Mennonite at the start of the second half. That wasn’t the only thing that had changed as the Thunder went on the attack early on as David Yoder was flying across the field, but an opportunity to score went wide.
From then on Juniata took back control of the game. Shellenberger drove in his second goal with 33 minutes left then got himself a hat trick later on as Juniata built a 7-0 lead.
“(It was a) fantastic performance from both of them — couldn’t have asked for anything more out of both of them,” Byler said. “As the strikers they did everything that was asked of them — they checked to the ball, help us hold possession, laid the ball off for guys making for a run and it was just tonight they had a nat of scoring goals. That’s what I want from your strikers.”
Stuart Dare scored two goals and Kadyn Kuhn added another to close the game out for the Indians. Still, Byler feels that there are a few things that need to be cleaned up.
“The second half we scored some goals but the second half got really sloppy for us,” Byler said. “We weren’t doing the simple things like we had been in the first half. Our passing game got a little lethargic, we allowed Belleville Mennonite to kind of get in on us two, three times. I would have like to see us be a little bit more organized in the back even as the game is going forward.”
Belleville Mennonite (0-5) will travel to Grace Prep on Friday. Renno hopes for someone on his team to step up and be a spark to inspire.
“Mentally making good decisions in the game and also I’m looking for leadership,” Renno said. “We need somebody to give us a bit of energy, just give us some field guidance and field leadership on Friday against Grace Prep.”
Juniata (1-1-1) will host Greenwood on Thursday.
Juniata 10, Belleville Mennonite 0
J– George Hazard, 38:27; J– Chase Lehman, 33:36; J– Lehman, 26:02; J– Lehman, 17:10; J– Tad Shellenberger, 16:48.
J– Shellenberger, 33:22; J– Shellenberger, 29:57; J– Stuart Dare, 26:12; J– Kadyn Kuhn, 14:11; J– Dare, 5:25.
Shots: J 26-2. Corners: J 13-1. Saves: J-2 (Johnny Dessin), BMS-16 (Rhiley Parks 10, Frankie Pannizzo 6).