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Lions edge Tusky Valley 5-4

By TODD REED treed@the-review.com Published: August 31, 2017 12:00 AM

Minerva opened up the boys soccer season with a 5-4 win over Tusky Valley.

The Lions scored in the third minute on a shot down the middle by Taylor Lowmiller off a pass from Zerick Banner.

Two minutes later Ashton LaCaze scored off a throw in from Brendan Garrison.

Jake Stewart had a break-away goal in the 20th minute to give Minerva a 3-0 lead.

Tusky Valley made it interesting in the second half, but goals from Stewart and Lowmiller sealed the win.

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"Tusky Valley is a well coached team," stated Head Coach Dave Gotschall. "Josh Ragon will give any team fits like he did with us last year. In the second half they switched their offense to try and offset our defensive speed of Christian Canonico and Reece Catlett and it worked for a while. We settled into a defensive posture and were able to fend off their attack and come away with a win.

"I chalk this win up to our summer conditioning program. Jeff Kullman and our new assistant coach Nathan Smith really had them in shape and that was the difference today."

Zerick Banner came up with nine saves in goal.

The Lions led in shots 11-10, and Tusky Valley led in corner kicks 8-4.

The junior-varsity contest ended in a 2-2 draw. Chad Willison scored on a penalty kick, and Wyatt scored off an assist from Jorge DeSantiago.

"We have a great bench and these guys are really getting some game-time experience against some good competition," commented Coach Gotschall.

Minerva will travel to South Range this Saturday, Sept. 2, and to West Branch on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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