High School soccer is starting again today as Ft. Zumwalt South and North will host a series of matches today, Saturday and next week. I traveled to St. Charles last night to as Howell North Hosts Howell in Final Preseason Scrimmage.
There was one goal scored, by Jr. Jackson Houck, on a shot from the right side of the box. The play started on the left as North were able to win a ball near the touchline in front of me, on the left. A quick ball into the center was then laid off as a diagonal for Houck He slotted his shot to the far post as Olwig came out to meet him. The celebration happened on the opposite of the field from me so no photos I’m sorry to say. But let’s look at the two sides and talk about a few of the players.
Here’s a GALLERY LINK of 60 photos from the match. Photo sales are my primary means of supporting this habit of mine and your purchase makes a difference. Thanks!
There were a number of substitutes as the Coaches appeared to clear the benches in order to get a final look at their players before heading into the regular season. I’m going to stick to a few basic items as a result.
For the Vikings, Sr. Justin Olwig opened in goal fronted by three defenders. So. Jackson Riege got the start at center back and he showed a level head and worked very well with Sr. Captain Joel Thwing at right back, who set a high standard for his teammates with his work rate. He was active going forward as well. The team played a triangle in the middle with Jr. Drew Settlemoir in the DM slot fronted by Sr. Captain Mason Ballos who had So. Malik Lovelace beside him. That should be a good group as they look to get fr. Anthony Faupel and Jr. Nick Taylor involved in the attack. Both forward/wingers have a lot of pace and Taylor has got a shot no one will want to stand in front of as he hammered a 35 yard free kick that someone in the wall deflected. The Vikings kept Howell North under significant pressure for the final 10 minutes as they pushed forward to equalize but the Knights held strong.
The Knights are blessed with a pair of sophomore goalkeepers that are going help deal with the pressure. Austin Bitter, who played the first half, made a remarkable double save on what was Howell’s best opportunity of the game. Coming out, he dove at the feet of the attacker, blocking the shot and upending the kid. The ball bounced into the patch of the trailing player but Bitter’s got up and saved that shot as well before his defense cleared the ball to blunt the attack. For Jack Stover in the second half, a half dozen shots on goal were all handled very well, including a couple of hard shots through a crowd that he tracked and tipped over the crossbar.
North went with a four man backline and three midfielders in front with Sr. Liam Levins in the ACM role with Houck (the goal scorer) and Jr. Cannon Murray playing DM. With seniors Logan Johnson and Dane McManus, who combined to set up Houck, playing in primarily attacking roles it’s Jr. Ryan Dittmar that looks to be the focal point of the attack. Often left up top on his own, the former defender looks to play a large role this year for the Knights. Reminiscent of former CBC attacker Nick Dempster in style, Dittmar had two good opportunities in the box. Both went just wide left but he got them off quickly and with good pace, along the ground. He’s not where he wants to be yet but this looks to be an interesting move by Head Coach Larry Scheller and he builds a team with only four seniors.
Howell North Hosts Howell in Final Preseason Scrimmage