Soccer

Team effort leads Marian past Hampshire

WOODSTOCK – Marian Central was anxious to get out on the field to start its season. From the opening whistle against Hampshire on Wednesday afternoon, that was evident. The Hurricanes scored early and often, cruising to a 6-1 victory for their first win of the season.

The Hurricanes (1-0-0) were able to use 18 players, six of whom had either a goal or an assist.

"The fact that we are able to go so deep into our bench really allows us to play an up-tempo style game," Marian Central assisstant coach Mike Stiscak said. "We ask players to give it their all while on the field and it really puts pressure on opposing teams when we can have so many players contribute."

With many of the area's teams rebuilding, Marian has 10 of its 11 starters returning, and several new players off the bench who can contribute. Five of the Hurricanes' six goals came off an assist. Senior forward Liam Gries led the way with two goals and an assist.

"We have a lot of chemistry with this group," Gries said. "We work well together, know each others' strength and we were excited to get on the field, and, hopefully, have a lot more efforts like today in the future."

The Whip-Purs (0-1-0) were outmatched from the beginning, allowing the Hurricanes to control most of the possessions.

"They are a tough team to play at home," Hampshire coach John Gosling said. "On our side, we had a lot of first-game mistakes. I'm not overly concerned with the result of the game, but we definitely have some things to work on."

Marian Central goalkeeper Jake Higgins had a part in keeping Hampshire off the scoreboard. A couple of defensive lapses by the Hurricanes saw the Whip-Purs with point-blank shots, only to be turned away by Higgins. The senior net-minder finished with 11 saves.

Hampshire got its lone goal from senior captain Jose Hernandez.

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