Kickers off to rocky start

Mindy Carls
Justin Timmer of Orion-Sherrard controls the ball during the varsity game with Alleman on Saturday morning, Sept. 6, at the Alleman field in Moline.

    DePue defeated Orion-Sherrard 3-2 in varsity soccer on Monday, Aug. 25.

    “I think this match best sums up why the British refer to soccer as ‘a funny old game,’” Orion-Sherrard coach Rick Cline said. “We unfortunately scored two own goals for DePue as our defense was put under pressure early. We know that own goals happen from time to time, but it’s pretty rare to have two in the same game. We joked later that we scored four goals in the game but lost 3-2.”

    Josh Fisher scored both of the goals that counted for Orion-Sherard. Alex Miller collected two assists.

    “We know that we didn’t play as well as we’re capable of playing and let one get away from us tonight,” Cline said.

    Monmouth-Roseville overwhelmed Orion-Sherrard 7-2 on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

    “The difference in the game tonight was the question of being first to the ball,” Cline said. “The Titans came out fast and quick and won the overwhelming majority of 50-50 balls.”

    Getting to the ball first gave Monmouth-Roseville the advantage in time of possession, the coach said.

    “That boosted their offense and limited ours,” Cline said. “I was disappointed that we didn’t play team defense as intensely as we know we must. Every player on the field must commit to defending when necessary, and our failure to defend well really cost us.”

    The Chargers competed in the Metamora tournament on Friday, Aug. 29, and Saturday, Aug. 30.

    Peoria Christian defeated Orion-Sherrard 2-0 on Friday night.

    “We played very well against Peoria Christian as we were tied at halftime,” Cline said. “Our effort and intensity were both way up compared to our first two games, and we played much better soccer overall.”

    A day later, Metamora topped Orion-Sherrard 3-1.

    “Danny Driskell scored a real nice goal to give us our first lead of the season, but we weren’t able to hold off Metamora,” Cline said. “All in all, they just had too many weapons.”

    The coach was pleased with his team’s effort and intensity.

    “I believe that we’re playing better and catching on to the concept of team defense,” Cline said.

    Peotone then handed Orion-Sherrard a 4-0 loss.

    The Chicago-area school has one of the best small-school soccer programs in the state, Cline said.

    “Last year in this tournament, they really beat us badly,” he said. “But today we played them much tougher, with 11 shots on goal. Again our effort and intensity are where we want them to be, and I’m confident that someone else down the line is going to pay for our rough start.”

    That “someone” turned out to be Riverdale, which suffered an 8-2 loss to Orion-Sherrard on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

    “We knew we’d stumbled coming out of the blocks, but also knew that we were seeing steady improvement over the last three games,” Cline said. “It all clicked for us tonight against Riverdale.”

    Playing the Rams over the summer, the Chargers collected a win, a loss and a tie.

    “They have some big kids and nice speed, so we knew had our hands full,” the coach said.

    At halftime, Orion-Sherrard clung to a 2-1 lead.

    “We really laid out the challenge to come out and take over the game immediately in the second half,” Cline said.

    The Chargers did, scoring four goals in the first seven minutes following intermission.

    “Danny Driskell was dominant in the left forward position, and the guys did a great job of getting him the ball,” the coach said. “It was nice seeing the whole lineup contribute, with Dillon Kostka, Josh Fisher and Travis Anderson scoring, as well as nice assists from Greg Nightingale, Sam VanDuyne and Jake Molburg.”

    Driskell booted home four goals; Fisher, two; and Kostka and Anderson, one each.

    Kostka notched two assists.

    On Saturday, Sept. 6, the Chargers tied the Alleman Pioneers 1-1 in Moline.

    Orion-Sherrard scored in the first half and Alleman in the second half.

    “We played a great game against Alleman,” Cline said. “Our goal came on a set piece that Travis Anderson startedwith a real nice ball forward. Dillon Kostka flicked the ball through to Justin Timmer on the far post. J.T. did a great job of quickly sizing up the scoring opportunity.”

Timmer blasted the ball past the Pioneer goalkeeper.

    “Our defense was really tested today, but did a great job of stepping up to the challenge,” Cline said.

    “We would have loved to have beaten Alleman but are very proud of our overall effort today,” he said.

    Orion-Sherrard is 1-5-1.