Wolves boys soccer shuts out Blue Wave

Published: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.

Powered by a relentless offensive effort, St. Francis shut out District 4-2A foe P.K. Yonge 2-0 Tuesday night.

Despite having home-field advantage, the Blue Wave played most of the game on their heels as the Wolves were able to constantly keep the ball on P.K. Yonge’s side of the field.

“If we kept (the ball) on their side the entire time, we had a better chance (to win) because our defense is great,” said St. Francis sophomore forward Scott Plavac. “That’s how we won tonight.”

Even with the immense pressure the Wolves put on the Blue Wave side throughout, a solid performance by P.K. Yonge goalkeeper Sean Murphy thwarted the Wolves’ chances early. Murphy found himself on the wrong side of a few early corners, but protected his net brilliantly.

Murphy’s off-balance save to his left on a rocket shot by St. Francis’ Ty Murphy midway through the first kept the game knotted at zero.

Murphy was finally bested when Plavac broke free to the left side of the goal box for a one-on-one in the 28th minute and slipped his shot just under Murphy’s grasp.

“I didn’t know if I should go front post or back post,” Plavac said.

“When I cut in to the left, I saw the back post was open, so I put my head down and shot.”

The Wolves kept up the pressure, but Murphy held his own for the remainder of the first half and finished with eight saves on the night.

St. Francis continued to control the ball on P.K. Yonge’s side for most of the second half as well.

While P.K. Yonge coach Christopher Raye said he didn’t feel there was much of disparity in offensive production — outside of scoring — the Blue Wave were out-shot 12-8.

“We didn’t play our game,” Raye said. “We didn’t possess like we normally do. We didn’t keep the ball on the ground and keep moving it. We didn’t utilize the wings out wide and we didn’t have as many shots as we normally do. It was an off night for us.”

The Wolves put the game away in the 71st minute when junior Andy Ryngaert gave St. Francis a 2-0 lead with a shot from the top of the box that rolled into the right corner of the net.

St. Francis coach Scott Fries said his team’s tournament play over the Christmas break against “upper-level talent” heavily prepared his players for Tuesday’s game.

It also got them accustomed to learning how to win or prevent balls in the air, which Fries said was a distinct advantage against P.K. Yonge.

“We didn’t let them get into their game plan,” he said. “They are very skilled, they play a great first-time ball long and we kept that away and kept the ball out of the air against them.”

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