University High did a lot of things right on its way to a boys and girls soccer sweep of St. Charles in Division III, District 7 play at Jeff Boss Field on Saturday.
Jessica Shelby scored three goals as the Lady Cubs (12-3, 2-0 district) defeated the Lady Comets 6-0 before the boys team had goals by four players to finish the double shutout with a 4-0 win.
“We played one of our better games against a good district opponent that’s new to us,” U-High coach Chris Mitchell said. “It’s a real physical team, and I think we stuck with our game plan and possessed the ball really well. We’re able to possess the ball better than we ever have before, and it gives us the luxury of moving forward on offense more freely.”
The Cubs’ plan to play a possession game was evident from the beginning as they constantly attacked. They had three quality shots in the first four minutes, and finally converted an opportunity in the 10th minute on a goal by Cole Katzenstein with an assist from Martin Padial.
U-High (10-2-1, 3-0 district) outshot St. Charles 10-1 in the first half and collected a second goal in the 18th minute after a flurry of shots from point blank range preceeded by Thomas Downs’ throw-in. The Cubs had three quick shots. The first was saved by goalkeeper Matt Templett, the second banged off a defender, and the third, by David Barry, found the back of the net and gave U-High a 2-0 halftime lead.
The save by the freshman keeper Templett was one of 15 he made.
“He (Templett) was phenomenal. He was awesome,” St. Charles coach Sean LeBlanc said. “He saved it from being much, much worse.
“It was rough. We haven’t played that level a team from our division yet, and we have so many nonclub players that when you play a team that moves the ball that well and with that intensity you get caught off guard. We took a punch in the face real quick,” he said.
Hank Patrick picked up the Cubs’ third goal early in the second half. In the 46th minute, Templett deflected a shot by Matthew Berg which Patrick collected just outside the left post for an open shot.
Berg scored on a tap-in of his own 10 minutes later when he caught Templett out of the goal and converted the chance.
“One thing about this year is that we don’t have to rely on one player because we have so many quality players out there,” Mitchell said. “Our scoring has been very balanced every game. For me as a coach and the players: They don’t know where it’s going to come from, but it comes from one player or another every game because we keep the ball so well.”
U-High’s freshman goalkeeper Matthew Johnson had a slow day in goal as St. Charles (3-2-3, 0-1), managed only five shots with Johnson handily saving three of them.
The Cubs defense, led by brothers Ben and Isaac Smith, turned back most of the Comets’ counterattacks.
“The two twin towers,” Mitchell calls them with a smile. “They’ve done very well. We had some growing pains earlier in the season, but they’ve matured and are showing really well right now.”
In the girls game, Liza Albrecht scored a goal, Olivia LaBarre scored with an assist by Ellen Bottcher and Bottcher had a goal on a penalty kick as the Lady Cubs scored all their points in the first half.