PREP SOCCER: Jersey holds off McGivney 2-1 to win Kickoff Classic
9/1/2017 8:00 AM

PREP SOCCER: Jersey holds off McGivney 2-1 to win Kickoff Classic

By Pete Hayes -

CARLINVILLE — Heading into Thursday night’s Carlinville Kickoff Classic final, Jersey coach Scott Burney and his team knew full well that keeping track of Father McGivney’s High’s Eli Skubish would be a prime concern.

Mission accomplished, and with it, another Carlinville Kickoff Classic championship.

Depsite being outshot 13-10, Jersey got a goal from Wyatt Freand late in the first half to go up 2-1 and held on through a scoreless second half. The result meant the Panthers’ fourth consecutive Kickoff Classic crown.

“(Skubish) was our main concern,” Burney said. “He’s a very good player and presents a lot of challenges to a defense. We wanted to make sure he didn’t beat us.”

Skubish came into the game with 13 goals and two assists in just six games. He left game seven with the same totals.

“Isaac Hausman did a fantastic job on defense for us. He marked Skubish and he saved at least three breakaways or us.”

Even though it’s their fourth straight tourney championship, the Panthers won their latest with a virtual new cast of characters.

“We have a lot of inexperience,” Burney said. “Only four back from last year and we’re still finding out what everybody can do.

“We didn’t play all that well tonight. We lost our focus and got out of our element. We chased the ball to much at midfield and left gaps.”

The Panthers (4-0) got on the scoreboard in the 10th minute when John Bray scored off a throw-in from teammate Gavin McGuire. The throw from about 30 yards out landed came in near the goalie box and Bray finished it.

McGivney countered in the 22 minute when David Means scored from a cross by Matthew Gierer.

That set up Freand’s game winner with 2:30 left in the first half. He scored on a header from an assist by Hausmann. McGivney goalie Alex Loeffler made the initial save, but Freand pounced on the the deflection.

“We don’t get out-shot very often,” Burney said. “(McGivney) did a really good job and they got some breakaways that (Hausmann) shut down.”

Jersey goalie Coby Gibson made 10 saves.

McGivney dropped to 5-2 and saw its five-game wining streak end. Through six games, the griffins had outscored their opposition 21-4.

“We were still able to get a win,” Burney said, “even though it’s obvious we have a lot to work on.”

The Panthers will begin Mississippi Valley Conference play Tuesday at Mascoutah.

“That’s going to be a real tough test,” Burney said. “(Mascoutah) is playing extremely well.”

In other Kickoff Classic results, Springfield Southeast beat Athens 4-0 for third place, Springfield Lutheran topped Hillsboro on penalty kicks for fifth and Roxana beat Lincolnwood 2-1 for seventh place.

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