Creek regains confidence, tops Oak Glen
WINTERSVILLE — A little bit of confidence can go a long way.
The Indian Creek boys soccer team has been lacking it of late, but found it again on Thursday evening, defeating Oak Glen, 4-2, at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium.
“We needed that one,” Indian Creek head coach Chuck Brettell said. “The last four or five games we have not been able to score goals at all. Our kids’ heads have been hanging and we have not been playing well. We really needed this. That’s the thing we have been trying to gain and get back — confidence. It carries you when you are winning and goes the other way when you’re losing.
“Oak Glen is a good team. They are solid and play hard. We won the game, they didn’t lose the game. That makes me feel really good. It’s a nice win and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Brettell implemented a new system, and despite the Golden Bears (5-6-4) striking first, stuck with it. That decision paid off as the Redskins (6-5-2) scored the next four goals.
“At practice (Wednesday) night, we changed our formation,” he said. “It seemed to work a lot better and reinforced the offense a little bit. We’ll see from here on out how it works. It was my idea (to make the change). When they scored, (assistant coach A.J. Brettell) was looking at me like, ‘are you sure?’ We could tell it was working because we were getting a lot of shots. We were controlling the tempo, which is something we’ve worked on for years, but it did enter my mind (to change back). If we got down a couple goals we would have, but once we settled in, the kids did a good job.”
Gunnar Brettell led the way, scoring a hat trick — two of which came on penalty kicks.
“He will be the hardest kid to replace just because of his leadership,” coach Brettell said. “He scores goals, and the kids all look up to him. He’s been doing this since he was four. Whichever college he decided to go to, they are going to get a good one. He played really well tonight. Somebody had to step up.”
Indian Creek carried the majority of the play early, but Oak Glen goalkeeper Jacob Clark made several quality saves to keep the scoreboard empty. That set up Lucas Harris converting to make it 1-0 Golden Bears just over 10 minutes into the game.
The Redskins, though, were not phased.
Gunnar Brettell scored on a penalty kick about 10 minutes of game time later to even the score, then five minutes later maneuvered through the Oak Glen defense to make it a 2-1 Redskins lead at halftime.
Clark finished the game with 23 saves, and was already in double figures in that category at the break.
“Their keeper is terrific,” coach Brettell said. “We had had 35 shots and only won 4-2. That kid is really, really good.”
After the Golden Bears had a couple of quality looks either miss or be denied by Indian Creek keeper Coy Amis (six saves), Elijah Llewellyn got behind the Oak Glen defense and buried a shot from in close to make it 3-1 with just under 23 minutes to go in the game.
Not even two minutes later, the Redskins were awarded a penalty kick, and Gunnar Brettell completed the hat trick to make it 4-1.
Oak Glen head coach Jaison Polly was given a red card for arguing the call following the goal.
“I think the game overall was played pretty well,” Oak Glen assistant coach Dave Harris said. “I think at moments we had lapses. We played soft in some moments when we should have been a little more in control. We should have been more aggressive on the ball. Indian Creek played a good, solid game. There were some good things we saw, but we should have played better. They played well and they deserved to win.”
Jeremy Adams scored a goal with under five minutes to play, firing a long, arching shot from range over an outreaching Amis, to cap the scoring.
Oak Glen: Hosts John Marshall on Monday.
Indian Creek: Will play Edison on Saturday in the Cancer Awareness Classic at Harding Stadium.
(Grimm can be reached at email@example.com)