Stults adds goal, 3 assists as No. 1 Dragons reach sectional final
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS –- Teddy Redinger notched a hat trick, and Michael Richard added two goals for the Argos boys soccer team in a 7-0 win over Caston in a Class 1A, Sectional 36 semifinal at Eugene Snyder Field Wednesday.
Ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, Argos improved to 14-3-1. They are unbeaten in their last nine games, and they have outscored their first two sectional opponents by a combined score of 18-0.
Argos will host Winamac at 7 p.m. Saturday in the sectional final. Winamac edged Culver 3-2 in Wednesday’s first semifinal.
Bailey Zimpleman had 14 saves for the Comets (4-10-1), who was playing Argos for the first time since a 6-0 loss in last year’s sectional final.
“I think Bailey’s played incredible all season,” Caston coach Narciso Sanchez said. “I think this was just a testament to what he’s been doing game-in and game-out. He’s kept us in a lot of games the entire year.”
Said Argos coach Todd VanDerWeele: “Their keeper had a fantastic game. He made some incredible saves to keep the score down.”
Argos had a 21-0 advantage in shots on goal and a 6-0 edge in corner kicks.
Jake Stults added a goal and three assists, and Sean Richard also scored. Cam Markley contributed two assists.
Argos was able to quickly pressure Caston whenever they would possess the ball.
“About any team that I’ve had the last five or six years, that’s been a soccer thing,” VanDerWeele said. “High pressure. We try to do that. Caston was very organized tonight. I think that was one thing that we did that helped us was that pressure. … I’m able to do that with this group of guys especially. We’re very athletic, and I think that’s probably something they haven’t seen a lot of this year, so that was to our benefit.”
Redinger scored first, putting in a goal at close range with 34:37 left in the half after a scramble in front of the goal.
A Redinger header off a Stults corner kick made it 2-0 with 9:58 left in the half. Michael Richard buried a shot in the left corner of the net with 2:18 left to make it 3-0.
Redinger completed his hat trick with 26:25 left to make it 4-0 after Argos intercepted a Caston goal kick. Just 2:08 later, Michael Richard scored again, dribbling in from the left and powering a shot past Zimpleman to make it 5-0.
A Sean Richard left-footer with 11:39 left made it 6-0, and Stults scored an unassisted goal with 1:56 left to complete the scoring.
“I think they’re just a solid team, a great team, well-coached,” Sanchez said. “They know their positions. They’re solid at every single position on the pitch. They’re just a tough team to break down. They run a really good system. Their system is incredible. … And if you don’t have a good first touch or second touch or third touch, they’re all over you, and then they’re off on a counter.”
VanDerWeele said this was the fastest they have moved the ball since beating NorthWood in the Argos Invitational championship game three weeks earlier.
“I was really happy,” VanDerWeele said. “We were sharp. … Our passing accuracy was good. We were looking for the extra pass. The movement off the ball was good and got better as the game went on, I thought.
“I’m really happy with the way we played tonight.”