The Packer offense keeps rolling.
The Austin boys soccer team won its sixth straight match with a 5-1 win over Rochester John Marshall at Art Hass Stadium Thursday.
Austin (7-2 overall, 4-2 Big Nine) got the ball rolling when Henry Darling scored one of his two breakaway goals on a deep lob by Jacob Larson in the 11th minute. Darling is finally starting to get his legs back into it after re-joining the Packers a few matches ago.
“I haven’t played very well the past few games and I’m still getting back in the groove of things,” the senior forward said. “At the beginning of the game I wasn’t sure how fast their defenders were, but I kind of noticed I’d be able to get away with (my speed) early on.”
The Packer offense fired off 23 shots Thursday and it has scored at least three goals six times this season. That trend continued against JM (0-8-1 overall, 0-4-1 Big Nine) as the Packers cruised.
Dante Ortiz knocked in a rebound of a miss by Jacob Brehmer in the 19th minute and Alex Klock scored on a 15-yard shot from the center on an assist from Larson in the 34th minute.
“A lot of times in high scoring games you like to run the long ball a lot,” Larson said. “We did a good job of making short passes, getting it to our fast guys and capitalizing on all of our opportunities.”
Austin took a 3-0 lead to the half and Ortiz instigated some more Packer offense in the match’s 55th minute. He got to the goal and drew a penalty, which set up a penalty kick that Tim Horn knocked in. Horn set up Austin’s last score on an assist to Darling.
Lucas Djehdian scored in the 68th minute for the Rockets.
While they stayed up on the scoreboard, the Packers also kept their cool against a physical John Marshall team.
“Their defenders definitely practice grabbing at you when you run by,” Darling said. “It was frustrating, but we got through it. Scoring helps and it gives you more confidence.”
Austin head coach Jens Levisen was pleased with how his team handled themselves. Austin goal keeper Ryan Rasell, who had four saves, was knocked to the ground late in the contest, but nobody retaliated for Austin.
“They’ve really done well (with keeping they’re cool),” Levisen said. “You always wonder if when they’re challenged are they going to do what they’re supposed to or default to instinct where it’s ‘this guy hit me, I’m going to hit him.’ They don’t do that and they keep their composure. That will take them a ways.”
The night was youth soccer appreciation night and the Packers represented well to the youngsters.
“I’m glad we had a good turnout with the kids,” Levisen said. “I remember when I was in high school and it meant a lot to the kids to come out and just shake hands with the varsity guys. All of them were so jazzed to be there. It’s a fun thing.”