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EDWARDSVILLE – A Christian Cox brace (two goals), and single goals from six different players, helped Civic Memorial to an 8-0 win over Metro-East Lutheran in a soccer match Saturday morning at Knights Field.

The Eagles scored seven times in the first half, all within a 25-minute span, as CM took the win on the road.

“It was a pretty good day of soccer,” said Eagle head coach Derek Jarman. “We tried to get things going early, and it took us about 12 minutes to move the ball around and actually be ourselves. Sometimes, we try to play up the middle, and not focus on the right way to play soccer, play sideline to sideline and move it around. Eventually, we got things going, and we mixed in a few different lineups and formations that we don’t normally get to do, so it was nice to see some kids step in, and we’ve got a lot of young kids on this team, so it’s nice to be able to step in and have those guys step up, get some experience, and play well and have some success.”

Jarman mentioned a few of his players who had good games for CM.

“Parker Scottberg moves the ball pretty well,” Jarman said, “and he’s kind of our quarterback, and he put some good through balls, and Bryce Davis, Nic Vaughn, those guys up top, and Christian Cox, they’re hungry, and whenever they get fed some nice passes, they’re ready to finish. And today, they hit some good shots and did some good things. But we never focus on results, like we don’t care what the scoreboard says, we’re trying to get better every day, position-wise and just moving the ball, and just playing soccer the right way. Get out of these bad habits that we sometimes have, that we need to kind of grow out of, hopefully.”

The Knights were playing shorthanded because of injuries, and players who were taking their ACT college tests on Saturday, but the Metro-East players kept striving throughout the match and played hard throughout.

“Yeah, the kids played hard, they didn’t quit on me,” said Knights coach Dwight Kerlin, “and that’s a good team there; they pass well. But the kids tried, and they did their best today. It’s been a long week, playing four games in the week, with the heat, so I’m proud of their effort.”

The schedule, along with a couple of injuries, did catch up to the Knights.

“A little bit,” Kerlin said. “And we had a couple of guys out with injuries, and then another guy taking the ACT, so I think that just kind of depleted our defensive unit a little bit. The guys that played stepped in, and did a good job.”

Kerlin also mentioned some of his players for good games as well.

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“I think Luke Neath plays a good center (defense),” Kerlin said. “Wish I could keep him up on the front, but he anchors the D for me a lot. Nathan (Butler) did a good job up front, got a few shots off, but overall, I think it was a good team effort.”

The Knights do have a very young team, with many freshmen and sophomores playing, and are in a rebuilding year. The team is handling everything very well, and picking up valuable experience which will help in the long run.

“Yeah, it’s definitely a rebuilding year for us,” Kerlin said. “We lost the six good seniors last year, which really took away a lot of our firepower, but the boys have been working hard in practice, they’ve been working hard in every game we’ve been in, pretty much every game. So, I’m just happy with the overall effort. They’re not getting down on themselves, they’re continuing to play, even when the other team gets a goal. So I think they’re learning a lot, they’re getting a lot of playing time, so it’s going to bode well for the future.”

The Eagles did have the practically all of the opportunities in the first few minutes of the match, and broke through in the 15th minute, when Scottberg took a pass in the box from Davis and slotted the ball into the right-hand corner to give CM a 1-0 lead. In the 19th minute, Brayden Zyung took a pass from Scottberg and chipped the ball past the Metro-East keeper, who was off his line, and into the back of the net for a 2-0 Eagle lead.

In the 22nd minute, Lucas Ambrose got a cross from Scottberg after a good pass broke Scottberg through on the right flank, and Ambrose got his shot into the net to make it 3-0 for the Eagles. Two minutes later, in the 24th, Vaughn took a pass from Zyung off a nice run and scored to increase the lead to 4-0. Then in the 29th minute, Cox scored the first of his two goals when he got a pass from Zach Deppling, broke in alone and slotted the ball into the far corner to make it 5-0.

The Metro-East goalie, Erik Broekmeier, did well to cover up a couple of chances late for the Eagles, coming out in the 28th minute to snare a dangerous ball. But in the 32nd minute, off of a CM corner from Aslan Henderson, the ball deflected off of Ian Heflin and into the net to make it 6-0 for the Eagles. The final goal of the half came right at the first-half siren, when Cox took a pass from Vaughn on a good passing play and shot it into the lower right-hand corner to make it 7-0 at halftime for the Eagles.

With the scoreline being seven goals, the second half, by rule, was cut in half to 20 minutes, and in the 43rd minute, Davis got a good pass from Nolan Holcomb and poked it home to make the score 8-0. The Knights did have a pair of great chances from Neath late, but both were stopped as the Eagles went on to their 8-0 win.

CM is now 5-3-0 on the season, and faces a pair of important Mississippi Valley Conference tests back-to-back, at Triad on Monday and then at home against Mascoutah on Tuesday. Jarman felt that the Eagles played very well on Saturday, but knows the challenges ahead for his side.

“Yeah, I hope so, I hope we can feed off of it,” Jarman said. “We’ve got a big test coming up Monday in Triad, so it’s always nice to step out of conference and play local teams, and Metro-East Lutheran is a team we’ve battled with the last few years in tournaments and in regular season. So, it was nice for us today to come and show up and to try and play as well as we could, because sometimes, like I said, we just can’t get out of own way sometimes. We do some things we work on in practice, and then today, I think we were able to iron some things out, and get a little better, but I’d still like to start off a little better than we did the first 12 or 15 minutes of that game. It’s a great day for soccer, it’s nice not to be 98 degrees here, so it’s finally feeling like fall, hopefully, a little bit,” Jarman said with a smile and laugh.

The Knights fell to 1-6-1, and next play at home against Carlyle on Monday, then at East Alton-Wood River on Tuesday. Kerlin feels that there’s nothing to be discouraged about his side’s effort at all.

“Oh, no,” Kerlin said. “I’ve told them, I’ve said ‘guys, this is going to be a learning year all year.’ We’ll just continue to build on every game, and that hopefully, coming at regional time, we’re playing our better soccer, and see what happens at that point. I’m just happy with the effort, and we’re just going to go out and try to win every game we can.”

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