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BETHALTO – In a tough battle at their home field, the Civic Memorial Eagles boys’ soccer team fell to the Jersey Community High School Panthers 5-0 on Thursday.

Though the Eagles put up a fight, the Panthers’ speed, defense and agility allowed them to stay in command for a large majority of the game.

Jersey head coach Scott Burney was extremely proud of his team’s performance throughout the night.

“It seems to be the way we do things” he said regarding the first 37 minutes of the match with no score, “Once we get one, the second and third one are much easier.

“We really attacked those gaps with speed and the mindset of scoring, not just to get it in there and hope to get it on, but to put it in the back of the net. We did a lot better job with that tonight.”

After the first scoreless 37 minutes, the Panthers started out their offensive push with two back-to-back goals by Luke Palcheff. His first goal was assisted by Drake Blackwell and with just 16.9 seconds to go of the first half, Palcheff knocked in his second.

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In the second half, Jersey held command over the Eagles, and while the home team made several shots towards the net, Cody Gibson kept the ball out of their goal. Just over 17 minutes left on the clock, Jackson Kight landed a goal for the Panthers. Around three minutes later, midfielder Alan Wendell scored the fourth point.

In the last scoring play of the game, Caleb Manns kicked the ball past CM’s goalie and captain Jacoby Robinson with less than 9 minutes left on the clock. At the final buzzer, the Panthers blanked the Eagles 5-0.

CM head coach Derek Jarman knew that his team’s 5-0 start was nice, but knew that the tough conference battle was ahead.

“Jersey is just one of the best coached teams in the area,” Jarman commended his opponent, “Look at Scott; he gets great athletes and turns them into great soccer players. That’s what this whole thing is all about.

“Maybe next year, I’d love to model my program after what Scott’s doing. He teaches those athletes to run the space, to talk and do all those things. We’re trying to get there. Our guys don’t say enough and that’s why you see a lot of white jerseys running into each other.”

The JV match between the Panthers and Eagles was cut short with 8:45 left on the clock for their game after a lightning delay paused the game for 30 minutes. The final score was 2-0 in Jersey's favor before the officials then decided to call the game in order to get the full varsity match in.

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