BETHALTO – There are only a few teams in the state of Illinois that get the right to be upset after an 8-0 win. One of those teams is the Triad Knights.
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It’s not that head coach Jim Jackson wanted to score more goals, he just felt like his team wasn’t giving it their all. He gave credit to CM head coach Derek Jarman and his kids for the way they came out.
“We talked about it,” Jackson said. “Derek lost what, 15 kids to graduation? Last three years, we’ve had real good games with them, and I know he’s in the process of getting his team back to where he wants it.”
“Derek’s teams always work hard, and they outworked us in the first half. I was not happy. My teams have been known to work hard no matter how we’re playing, and we’ve talked about it, even though we have a glitzy record and are ranked here and there, we just have not been working hard.”
The undefeated Knights remained that way Thursday evening after an 8-0 win over the CM Eagles at Hauser Field. Triad improved to 9-0 on the season and 4-0 in the conference, proving late in the game why they are the No. 1 ranked team in the state and No. 7 in the nation according to Max Preps.
“I don’t want to be ranked No. 1 now, I want to be ranked No. 1 in November,” Jackson said.
“It’s a lofty goal, but we were 40 seconds away from the state championship in 2021, last year we lost 2-1 in the super-sectional. That’s what we strive for here and that’s what we’ve built over the last seven or eight years.”
Jarman once called Triad “a soccer factory” with the way the school seemingly never has a down year. The same can’t be said for the Eagles.
The team graduated 14 seniors last year and is essentially a brand-new varsity squad. After starting the season off to a 4-0 start, winning Roxana’s Norman Lewis Invitational, the Eagles still find themselves at 6-4 on the season, but once again it was Triad who ended up being their Achilles heel.
It’s an ugly record for CM, but they are 2-50-1 all-time against the Knights with the last CM regular season win coming back in 2007.
That streak would continue for Triad but took some time to get going. They would score 10 minutes into the game thanks to a flip throw-in from Brendan Smith that put a dangerous ball into the 18-yard box that was smashed home to make it 1-0.
Looking rather lackadaisical, Triad wouldn’t find the back of the net again until the 31st minute when Ryan Kaffer scored right inside the box on a nice half-volley effort.
The Knights scored back-to-back goals within 45 seconds of one another and led 4-0 heading into the break, but it was what happened during halftime that was interesting.
Coach Jackson, upset with his team’s effort, made them run for most of the halftime break before benching his starters for good measure.
After a stern talk, Jackson put his starters back in and they quickly wrapped up the game. Four goals in five minutes applied the mercy rule where the time on the clock was cut in half and the Knights went onto the 8-0 win.
It was their fourth shutout of the season.
Cory Warren had a hat trick, the first for Triad this year. Landon Travnicek scored twice while Ryan Kaffer, Jake Palmer, and Charlie Genteman also scored.
For Triad, it’s about the postseason.
“It’s a big picture,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to teach the boys that the things you do in September can lead to bad things in October, but things you do well in September, early October could lead to some nice stuff in late October, early November and that’s one of our goals.”
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