Aberdeen Central was taken out of its comfort zone before finding its way back to a comfortable position Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Eagles overcame a sluggish start and won their fourth straight game by shutout in a 3-0 Eastern South Dakota Conference boys’ soccer victory over Brandon Valley at Swisher Field.
“I think we hit probably a really nice challenge for us from an adversity standpoint. We weren’t at out best. You could see us kind of fight through some of those growing pains almost a little bit today,” said Central coach Lance Mohr. “I thought they handled it well. You could tell they were frustrated. They fought through it, they worked throught it and they eventually got rewarded. That was important for them to see that.”
Mohr expected Brandon Valley to employ a style of play that would make life interesting for the Golden Eagles. It worked a while before Central finally broke through.
“We were a little bit out of rhythm and the way they played was very challenging to play against,” Mohr said. “They did a great job of executing their game plan, making it tough for us to get in and then when they did get the ball, they played long and forced us back. It’s tough to stay in rhythm and continue to build and create chances time and time again.”
It was Marcos Ramos Garcia who provided the offensive spark Central needed. The foreign exchange student from Spain scored the only goal in the first half, then added a goal and an assist in the second half.
His second goal was a nifty little flick in front of the net.
“I think it was a good goal,” Garcia said. “We practice every day for that.”
He then spotted teammate Denon Deuter for the final goal of the game.
“I saw he was alone,” Garcia said.
Garcia, who just arrived in the community about a month ago, said soccer in America is a bit more wide open than in his native country.
“Here it’s more offensive,” Garcia said. “There we play with more possessions.”
Garcia has made a major impact for the Eagles and always seems to be around the ball.
“He’s the definition of a gamer. When the whistle blows he is fully, 100 percent engaged, committed to every challenge, chasing after every ball and he gets rewarded,” Mohr said. “By chasing down those extra balls he gets extra chances, he creates extra chances. He’s really found that niche within our team, filling that role and it creates so much more for the other guys.”
When asked if he knew what the Eagles had on their hands when Garcia first joined the team, Mohr responded, “No we didn’t know, but it didn’t take long to figure out, let’s put it that way,” Mohr said. “He’s been fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Camden Fauth recorded his fourth consecutive shutout in goal for Central.
“He’s doing exactly what we need him to do,” Mohr said, “taking care of the ball when he gets it, being safe and secure on saves, and doing a good job of commanding his box.”
The Eagles, 6-1 on the season, travel to Harrisburg for another ESD contest on Saturday.
Brandon Valley 0 0 – 0
Aberdeen Central 1 2 – 3
First Half: AC, Marcos Ramos Garcia, 22nd minute.
Second Half: AC, Garcia (Gabe Johnson), 42nd minute; AC, Denon Deuter (Garcia), 64th minute.
Shots on Goal: Brandon Valley 1; Aberdeen Central 8.
Goalies: Brandon Valley, Ayden Spicer; Aberdeen Central, Camden Fauth.
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