Merrill kickers take a ride
The roller-coaster ride continues but sometimes it’s hard to tell the hills from the valleys.
The MHS boys soccer team was disappointed in its 4-1 loss to Marshfield at home last Tuesday, moreso than its 7-0 loss at SPASH on Thursday.
“I felt better about the 7-nothing game because we played pretty good,” Merrill coach Doug Smith said. “The wind was blowing like 60 miles-per-hour, down one end of the field to the other.
“They won the coin flip and chose the wind. I’ve never seen so many balls hit the bars and go in. They richocheted one off the upper corner and in. They had a throw-in that was rolling in front of the goal and curved in.”
Merrill fell behind 5-0 by halftime, then gave up two more goals to the Valley’s top team after intermission.
“We were hoping the wind would help us more than it did,” Smith said.
Austin Gartmann made several solid saves in goal.
“They shelled us,” Smith said. “It wasn’t even close.”
Smith touted the play of Dan Blakeslee, Bryce Litschauer and particularly Joe Reissmann in stepping up for the illness absense of Cole Boyd and Greg Boyce.
“Joe was a Rock of Gibralter,” Smith said.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first half of last Tuesday’s game, but Andreas Lodoen crossed a ball that Paul Theorin footed into the goal in the 48th minute.
“That gave the boys a little hope,” Smith said.
But Marshfield tallied a pair of goals in the 62nd and 64th minutes to put it out of reach.
“We were on our heels most of the time,” Smith said. “We just didn’t play our game. We didn’t mark up and it seemed we were just mentally not there.”
Smith noted that Theorin got of four strong shots.
“Paul is really starting to do something with the ball.
Merrill’s Austin Gartmann (1st half) and Ben Riehle (2nd half) finished with 6 saves. The Tigers stopped three shots that were on goal.