TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School boys’ soccer team won its first match of the season Tuesday evening in their home opener against the Gering (Neb.) Bulldogs.
Juniors Josh Stitt, Deagan Keith and Chase Miller all found the back of the net in the 3-0 victory.
After not having many scoring opportunities against Thunder Basin in the season opener, the Blazers didn’t waste any time going right after Gering and putting the Bulldogs on their heels early.
But one thing first-year head coach Gabe Bartlett stressed after the game was getting more shots on target.
“We have to finish better. We’ll get that fixed. They’ll start falling,” Bartlett said. “We didn’t have a lot of chances against Thunder Basin, so it was good to get out here and get a ton of shots. That helped us a lot. Now, we just have to get it on target.”
Just shy of the eighth minute, Keith netted the team’s first goal of the season.
It proved to be the only goal of the first half despite many more chances the Blazers had in the opening half.
“I thought our runs were good at the beginning of the game,” Bartlett said. “We played a little more disciplined and inside-out looking for the runs. Then things got a little hectic. The boys wanted to score and started pressing a little, so we got a little direct down the field.”
It wasn’t until the 49th minute when Stitt made the score, 2-0.
Finally, in the 65th minute, Chase Miller scored his first goal of the season off a miss that bounced off the cross bar of the goal.
Defensively, the Blazers limited Gering’s scoring opportunities which the Torrington defensive line and goalkeeper Kyler Shields kept Gering out of the back of the net.
“Our backline is pretty solid. They couldn’t get through,” Bartlett said. “We tried to press them high and make them get rid of the ball. They really didn’t go through our midfield. They play everything out of the air. They head the ball. They do everything that we ask them to do.”
Torrington (1-1) returns to action after Easter with a road match against Buffalo on Friday, April 9 at 5 p.m. and a home match against Riverton on Saturday, April 10 at 2 p.m.