Patience was an important ingredient in the Belleville West Maroons’ 2-0 victory over host Belleville East on Saturday that earned them the city soccer championship.
The Maroons were kept off the board until midway through the second half when senior Drake Terveer scored the first of his two goals that powered the win.
“Winning (the city title) is a big relief,” said Terveer, an outside midfielder. “We like to come out here every year and show ourselves to the Belleville community. It’s a big win for us and we want to keep it going throughout the season.”
The Maroons, who won their sixth in a row since losing in their season opener to powerhouse Collinsville, improved to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the SWC. The Lancers tumbled to 0-7-1 and 0-4.
“I thought we played really well,” Lancers coach Mark Lasley said. “I told them after the game, ‘Hey, the difference in that game is when we got our chances, we didn’t put them in. When they got their chances, they put one in and that was the game.’ I thought it was a well-fought game. That’s the difference in a soccer game: You’ve got to finish.”
Terveer broke the scoreless deadlock when he took a pass from junior Ryan Herling on the right side of the box. Terveer blistered a shot past Lancers senior keeper Jakob Kerkemeyer to put the Maroons on top 1-0 at 59 minutes, 4 seconds.
“After I got the pass, I kind of just looked up and saw the space I had. I just took it to (Kerkemeyer),” Terveer said. “After it went in, I knew we definitely had a lot more power going into the rest of the game. It brought up the energy a little bit.”
The Lancers, who hit the right post in the first half and saw senior Ryan McCarthy twice come close to scoring in the early stages of the second half, couldn’t check the momentum established by Terveer’s goal.
East’s hole soon got a bit deeper when Terveer was fouled in the box and awarded a penalty kick. Terveer’s shot caromed off Kerkemeyer and went right back to Terveer, who finished to make it 2-0 at 62:01.
“It bounced back and I just took the opportunity to take the shot,” said Terveer, adding that he had never scored a goal remotely similar to the penalty-kick follow.
GOUVEIA HELD DOWN
The Lancers were determined to keep West senior Sean Gouveia under wraps, using senior Josh Witt and others to shadow Gouveia’s every move.
Maroons coach Ron Thornberry said that created the chances for Terveer.
“They were isolating Sean; they were pitching a tent around Sean,” Thornberry said. “It’s a good idea except for it opens up other spots on the field. On that (goal-scoring) play, Sean was all the way on the left side and the whole right side of the field was open because they had three guys on Sean.”
Gouveia’s six goals rank second on the Maroons to Terveer’s seven.
“We did a good job with Sean,” Lasley said. “He didn’t dominate the game, which I know he can do. We pretty much went in with the mindset that he wasn’t going to beat us. We did that, but we kind of beat ourselves by not finishing those chances.”
GREGORY SOLID IN NET
Junior goalie Brandon Gregory of the Maroons is in his first season, but he played beyond his years against the Lancers and recorded his second shutout and fifth win.
Gregory wasn’t the starter in the season opener. That job belonged to junior Trevor Pentland, but Thornberry has since opted to use Pentland as a defender.
Gregory made strong saves on McCarthy’s free kick 10 minutes into the second half and on sophomore Hunter Peppers about two minutes later. Then, with about three minutes remaining, Gregory glided to the right post to take a goal away from sophomore Devin Chambers.
“It’s a crazy experience,” Gregory said. “It’s the first time I’ve done stuff like this, so every game, I’m learning something new. This is a great bunch and it’s so much fun playing with these guys. I’m really enjoying myself.
“I’m seeing plays happen and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do this.’ It’s a learning process. I’m just glad we won this one. I’ll try to do my best every match for these guys.”
West will play Clayton at 6 p.m. Monday in the CYC Tournament. East will play Chicago Academy at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Chatham Glenwood Tournament on Friday.