BOONE GROVE | Times No. 10 Boone Grove set the tone early, scoring in the first three minutes, and used the early momentum for a 3-0 win over Wheeler in Northwest Indiana Soccer Conference play.
The Wolves (8-2, 5-0) travel to No. 4 Bishop Noll next Thursday in a NWISC battle for first place.
“I liked the whole way we played, we were able to get on the board early and we were taking shots,” Boone Grove coach Brian Sherwin said. “I think we kept the pressure on enough that we felt comfortable with a 1-0 lead to where we were somewhat controlling the game and getting more shots.”
Nick Azevedo gave the Wolves the lead, and Boone Grove's defense limited Wheeler (3-8, 1-1) to two shots in the first half and one shot on goal. Boone Grove had seven shots in the first half, five of those on goal.
The Wolves kept up their dominance in the second half with Austin Aguilera scoring on a back heel kick into the right side of the net in the 45th minute. Riley Van Eerd added the final goal with five minutes left.
“I love it when it’s more than one guy scoring,” Sherwin said. “Sometimes one guy will have a bad game, and that means that the other guy will step up and be in his place. I like having threats from everywhere to score, because then it’s hard for the other team to mark them.”
Sherwin also gave credit to his wide midfielders, Cameron Varlan, Matt Wright, Alex Eldred and Austin Rocha.
“Those guys helped us keep Wheeler from scoring," he said. "We were able to mark up Wheeler’s defenders, which allowed us to keep pressure up top.”
Both second-half goals were off plays that have bothered the Bearcats before.
“The two goals in the second half were set pieces, and that’s what we’ve had trouble with all year,” Wheeler coach Dave Bock said. “It seems like other teams want the ball more in that type of situation and they end up getting the ball and scoring.”
The Bearcats duplicated their first-half offensive production. An opportunity came with 13 minutes left when Marko Labovic took a shot from about 15 yards from the net, but Boone Grove’s defenders kept it out of play.
Boone Grove had a total of seven shots on goal, and keeper Nathan Miller had two saves.
“A lot of it has to do with the intensity we play with,” Bock said. “We’ve had a really rough stretch of games. It’s been about desire, and we haven’t had that much. That’s going to have to change.”