By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield scored two goals in the first 8 minutes of the game and the lead held as the Tigers went on to a 3-1 victory over Merrill in a Wisconsin Valley Conference boys soccer game Thursday at Griese Park.
Marshfield junior Luke McCann blasted a shot from 30 yards out over the top of Merrill goalkeeper Trevor Asmundsen to open the scoring 6:48 into the contest.
McCann was hit in the back by a kick, he turned and smashed the ball back toward the net as the goalkeeper was drawn out of the box.
“I was running back, turned my head and the ball hit me,” McCann said. “I turned and hit it a nice strike right in the corner. I noticed he was out, so I aimed for the corner and got it.”
Alec Hinson headed in a perfect crossing pass from Hunter McManus less than 2 minutes later to put the Tigers up 2-0 and they held on from there.
Merrill’s Devon Annis scored at the 39:45 mark, but that was all the Bluejays could muster as Marshfield dictated play for much of the game.
McCann added another goal for the Tigers in the 62nd minute after a series of one-on-one moves to dice his way through the Merrill defense.
“Intensity in first 15-20 minutes was superb,” Marshfield coach Steve McCann said. “Merrill had won 3 of last 4 and obviously have been playing tough. We had them on their heels early and playing with a lead today was really important.”
Mathias Holm made five saves in goal for the Tigers, including two in the final 2 minutes, to preserve the win.
The win is Marshfield’s second straight and maintains its spot in second place in the Valley standings with games at D.C. Everest and at home against Wausau East next week left on the schedule.
“We’ve been coming together as a team,” Luke McCann said. “We had a couple of rough games along the way, but we’ve been really doing good lately and hopefully we can continue going into the playoffs.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 3, Bluejays 1
Merrill 1 0 – 1
Marshfield 2 1 – 3
First half: 1. MAR, Luke McCann, 6:48; 2. MAR, Alec Hinson (Hunter McManus), 8:31; 3. MER, Devon Annis (Tyler Grieser), 39:45.
Second half: 4. MAR, McCann, 61:34.
Saves: MER, Trevor Asmundsen 7; MAR, Mathias Holm 5.
Records: Merrill 4-10, 3-7 Wisconsin Valley Conference; Marshfield 8-6-2, 7-3 WVC.