Jackson rides early lead past Notre Dame in boys soccer action

Thursday, October 8, 2009
Notre Dame's Ke-Ke Kellum fights off Jackson's Tyson Stoverink during Wednesday night's game at Notre Dame. (LAURA SIMON)

Brice Steger's goal in the first four minutes got the Jackson boys soccer team off to a strong start.

Dylan Blaylock's bomb midway through the second half finished off host Notre Dame during the Indians' 2-0 win Wednesday night.

"It was awesome," said senior Corey Baker of Jackson's second victory over Notre Dame this season. "We played good as a team and did what we needed to do.

"It's great to beat them, especially twice. And we've got them one more time at our place."

Jackson improved to 12-4 while adding to Notre Dame's rare down season as the Bulldogs fell to 6-11.

Jackson's Andrew Mueller, left, tries to work around Notre Dame's Joseph Siebert during Wednesday's game at Notre Dame. (LAURA SIMON)

The Bulldogs finished third in last year's Class 2 state tournament after winning the previous two state titles. But Notre Dame lost 10 starters from 2008.

"We had as good chances as they did, but we don't have anybody stepping up to make the plays when we have a chance to score," Notre Dame coach Brad Wittenborn said. "We've always had playmakers. Right now nobody is making those plays.

"I hurt for the kids because the effort is great. They're great kids and we've played better than that [record]."

Steger scored an unassisted goal in the game's first four minutes to put the Bulldogs in an early hole.

Steger, a junior, beat Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper James Holloway from in close with a shot into the right corner of the net.

Notre Dame's Taylor Essner, left, makes a leap to take the ball away from Jackson's Dylan Blaylock as Blaylock makes his way to the goal during Wednesday's game.

"I think it really helped us right off the bat to get one in," Jackson coach Zack Walton said.

About 11 minutes after Jackson went ahead, Notre Dame appeared poised to tie things, but Jackson junior keeper Cody Boehme made a brilliant, diving save on a close-range shot by senior Joe Froemsdorf.

The rebound came right to Notre Dame senior Ke-Ke Kellum in front of the net, but his shot hit the crossbar and bounced straight down. The ball appeared to straddle the goal line before Jackson finally cleared it away.

"That really helped us out," Walton said of Boehme's save. "Cody is capable of doing that."

Still trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Bulldogs had another golden opportunity to pull even, but sophomore Jonathan Lynch shot just wide from right in front of the goal.

"I think he probably rushed it, but those things happen," Wittenborn said.

Blaylock then made it really tough on Notre Dame with his goal midway through the final half.

Blaylock, a sophomore, took a pass from senior Andrew Mueller and blasted a rocket of a shot from about 20 yards out that found the upper right-hand corner of the net.

"Dylan came up with a big shot," Walton said.

Blaylock said he has "shanked" several of those types of shots this season but got all of it this time.

"I didn't expect to hit it that hard, but I've been wanting to do that," Blaylock said.

Boehme said he felt relieved after Blaylock's goal.

"It takes a lot of pressure off," Boehme said. "It feels good to get to 2-0."

Walton, whose squad beat Notre Dame in double-overtime during the Notre Dame SoccerFest in early September, credited the Bulldogs with a solid performance.

"I thought Notre Dame played a lot better than the first time we played them," Walton said. "They're improving."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: