THS boys win opener; Lady Blazers fall in Gering
TORRINGTON – Blazer freshman Anthony Arnusch and sophomore Elijah Hatch scored hat tricks – three goals each – in Tuesday afternoon’s win over the Gering (Nebraska) Bulldogs.
“We know both of them are talented. (Anthony) had a great game,” THS coach Gabe Bartlett said. “Once he passes and gets into open space, he’s pretty hard to handle. Hatch can just run by you, and he can finish. It’s exciting to see where they are going to go this year and what they can do.”
Both players were making their first varsity starts, and the six combined goals paced the Torrington Blazers to an 8-3 season-opening victory.
“You can see there is some skill there,” Bartlett said. “We have to clean up somethings. We knew we had some talent going in, but we just needed a few more guys to start stepping up.”
The Blazers had several looks at the goal in the early moments of the game, but it wasn’t until the 12th minute when sophomore Griffin Wolfe gave Torrington its first goal of the season.
Twelve minutes later, Hatch netted his first goal of the match.
Gering answered with its first goal in the 30th minute in the Bulldogs’ first shot attempt of the game, and the score remained 2-1 going into halftime.
Coming out of locker room, Torrington’s lead ballooned to 7-1 as Torrington scored five straight goals.
Arnusch scored his first on a penalty kick in the 56th minute. Three minutes later, junior Adam Bartlett found the back of the net. Arnusch added goals in the 61st and 64th minutes to complete the hat trick. Hatch added his two additional goals in the 69th and 73rd minutes.
Gering scored its final two goals in the 73rd and 76th minutes.
“Our defensive line in general, Greysen Shields and Kaiden Riggs, not many people are going to get by them, and when they do, they will run them down and get the ball back. They aren’t going to let much get by them.”
Lady Blazers shutout
In the girls’ game in Gering, the Lady Blazers were shutout, 6-0.
“I’m pleased with the effort the girls put forth. As young as the team is, it would have been very easy to fold up and quit. They didn’t do that. They hung in there and kept trying,” Lady Blazer coach Dave Cummings said. “They were a better soccer team when they came off the field at the end of the game when they stepped on it at the beginning.”
The Lady Bulldogs scored three goals in each half.
Over the course of the game, every member of the Lady Blazer roster had a chance to see the field and earn some valuable varsity minutes.
“It was a great learning opportunity for them. All of them now understand what varsity soccer is all about,” Cummings said. “As young as this team is, we did see some good growth from the beginning of the game to the end of the game.”
Throughout the game, the Blazers had two opportunities for shot attempts, but neither materialized into a shot on goal.
“We did get behind their line on two different times,” Cummings said. “They have a terrific defender back there, and she was very adept at running that down.”
Cummings added the team spent so much time playing defense they never really had an opportunity to mount a counter.
Torrington hosts Douglas on Saturday. The girls kickoff at 1 p.m. with the boys to follow at 3 p.m.