BOONE GROVE | Robert Dowhen got the result he was looking for on Monday afternoon, but the Kouts soccer coach wasn’t thrilled with the way it came about.
Kouts junior Chandler Maglish scored a goal in the 15th minute in its Class A sectional opener against Morgan Twp., but the Mustangs struggled to put away the Cherokees until there were five minutes remaining when Cole Van Dyke added a second goal to finish a 2-0 victory.
The Mustangs (12-6) knocked off Morgan Twp. 3-0 last week in a game that played out considerably differently from Monday’s contest.
“You have to give a lot of credit to the Morgan Twp. coach (Stefen Hutchins),” Dowhen said. “He knew what he needed to do to slow us down and he created a lot of barriers for us to try and score. Their defense was very effective against us.”
Maglish was able to corral a rebound off a shot from Kouts sophomore Alex Sanders and the junior midfielder found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the year to give the Mustangs an early 1-0 lead.
“The first goal helped our team out and gave us the strength we needed to push through,” Maglish said.
Dowhen expressed frustration with his team’s effort throughout the next 60 minutes, but as much as there was frustration, there was admiration for Morgan Twp. keeper Cody Tratebas. The junior corralled 11 saves during the match.
“Cody is a great keeper and he did a good job with everything we threw at him,” Dowhen said. “We were hoping for a positive deflection inside the box, something where we were able to generate a goal.”
Van Dyke added an insurance goal with five minutes remaining, but Hutchins said only then did the Cherokees (4-12) lose control of the match.
“I thought the first goal was kind of a luck goal and we were still very much in control of what was happening out there,” Hutchins said. “That second goal was really what did it, but our kids were 100 percent into the game. I’m very proud of their effort today.”
The Mustangs were very business-like after the match and already talking about a potential sectional championship rematch with Boone Grove on Saturday afternoon. The Wolves have to play Oregon-Davis on Wednesday afternoon, a team they beat 8-0 in the first round last year.
“We’re looking forward to getting another shot at playing Boone Grove this year,” Maglish said. “It’ll definitely be tough, especially on their field, but we’ll be ready.”