CRETE | Colin Leahy said his Beecher soccer teammates are simply playing more as a team lately and it's turning into wins for the Bobcats.
An aggressive Beecher team got two early goals and held on for a 2-0 win against a young and developing Illinois Lutheran squad. AJ Johns and Leahy each scored for the Bobcats to help Beecher improve to 5-0 in River Valley Conference play. Leahy's goal came three minutes into the game and was unassisted. Johns' goal was also unassisted.
"Lately we've been playing a lot more as a team," Leahy said. "We started off kind of rough in the beginning. Now we're passing better, talking better, and moving around better."
Johns added his goal 10 minutes after Leahy's to give the Bobcats (8-3-1, 5-0) the 2-0 lead. Chargers keeper Jacob Heyn had a strong day in net for Illinois Lutheran (6-7, 2-4), and the sophomore keeper kept the Chargers within striking distance throughout the second half.
"We've been working on crashing the net," Johns said. "Getting the balls on net and taking shots that we need to. There was a good rebound on my ball and I was able to put it away for the goal."
Illinois Lutheran struggled to get good shots on the Beecher goal throughout the match. Giovanni Schiavonne had a quiet but solid day in goal for the Bobcats, recording three saves.
"We've been just talking about showing up focused and ready to play," Beecher coach Dawn Compton said. "I'm happy with the way our season is going. I didn't expect anything less out of them."
In the second half, Beecher was unable to finish on numerous point-blank shots in front of the Charger net. Heyn continued his solid keeping to give the Chargers a chance, but Illinois Lutheran was unable to put anything together on offense.
"I was happy that we came out and played a little more aggressive today," Chargers coach Andy Biesterfeld said, "but we've got some work to do with our touches to improve our control so that we can get some shots."