Central nets quick goal in 1-0 win over Jackson

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Central's Cole Viers, front, and Jackson's Derek Brucker vied for the ball along the sideline during Tuesday's game.

Central's Jesse Lawrence did not play soccer last fall because he was recovering from a fractured spine he suffered while playing in the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association.

"I was also not physically fit enough to play," he said.

Lawrence said even coming into this season he was not in great shape. He said one of the most difficult drills he was asked to do by Tigers coach Tom Doyle was run 4 miles in 30 minutes.

However, the junior forward looked like he was back in shape Tuesday. Lawrence scored a goal against undefeated rival Jackson just 13 seconds into the contest to help the visiting Tigers to a 1-0 victory over the Indians.

Central improved to 6-5; Jackson suffered its first loss after winning seven straight to open the season.

Jackson's Brian Davidson moved the ball toward the goal with Central's Nick Allen behind him in the first half Tuesday night in Jackson. (Fred Lynch)

"They [the Indians] passed it back and I went after the ball and [the defender] kicked it right into me, and I shot it far post and it went in," Lawrence said. "It was a little bit of luck and some hustle. Hopefully [this win] drives us forward for the next few games. If we play like this the next few games we should be pretty good."

Lawrence said he was eager the whole day to get out on the field against Jackson.

"It was pretty intense during warm-ups," he said. "We were pretty excited and pretty anxious to play. I think we came ready to play. We were waiting for it all day long."

The goal was Lawrence's third of the season. His coach was pleased by the junior's effort.

"It was a good hustle play by Jesse," Doyle said. "He went after the ball, got a foot on it and knocked the ball backwards. He was not totally clear but he went in and made the shot and that's important.

"There were probably some nerves on both teams but probably more on their team because they were undefeated. They probably thought they were just going to take it to us. I told the players before the game: You can throw all the records out. When Cape plays Jackson, they don't mean anything."

Doyle said Lawrence's conditioning is noticeably improving.

"At the beginning of the season, he probably wasn't where he needed to be," Doyle said. "But he's getting better and he's getting more playing time."

Doyle added that he saw more positives out of Lawrence than just the goal. He said Lawrence is normally quiet. But he was more vocal Tuesday, questioning Doyle about why he was taking him out of the game at one point during the night. And Doyle also liked how he talked with the referees about some of the calls that were being made.

"That's not all bad," Doyle said. "That means he had decided he's getting a passion for it. With his size and with his skills, he can be a champion for us, especially playing up top where he's got a rifle shot when he takes it. And there were several times tonight when he started out five or maybe eight yards behind a guy and then caught the guy and beat him for the ball. So again, that passion that is starting to develop in him and come out in him are the things that will make us a better team."

After Lawrence's quick scoring strike, the game proved to be a defensive battle. Central was only able to muster a total of five shots while Jackson took 11.

Clayton Uptain recorded the shutout for Central.

Jackson coach Zack Walton said his team had not begun thinking about an undefeated season but instead the Indians were just taking it game by game.

"We just didn't play to our full potential," Walton said. "We made a little mistake at the beginning and we did not capitalize on our opportunities we had. We were miss timing balls in the air. So Cape was hungry for the ball tonight. They won a lot of balls on us and we didn't get good possession and that hurt us."

Walton also said goalkeeper Justin Darnell came out of the game with an injury he suffered during the goal by Lawrence. Matt Mueller was moved to net.

"Matt did a nice job back there but we missed him out on the field at times," Walton said. "We were a little bit out of sync because of that too. But no excuses really. Cape played fine tonight. They got a lucky break off the bat and capitalized on it, and we did not capitalize on our chances."

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