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PREP SOCCER: Ithaca shuts down Birch Run in TVC crossover

The Ithaca High School boys varsity soccer team dominated Birch Run High School Thursday evening by a final score of 6-0.

In truth, Ithaca (11-2-1) could have won by even more as it dominated Birch Run (3-12-1) from the opening whistle.

Ithaca remained in control throughout the entire match, but it was in the first half that their attack was most lethal. The Yellowjackets moved the ball well around the pitch and created one quality chance after another as they took a 5-0 route into the intermission.

“I felt like I played pretty well in the first half.” commented Senior Captain Alex Vanderploeg who scored a hat trick in the first 25 minutes. “It was mostly because our team was moving the ball so well and it allowed me to get open. I'm just happy with all the opportunities the team gave me.”

The Yellowjackets truly did move the ball well around the pitch led especially by junior Midfielder Zach Drowley.

Drowley’s vision and passing ability was evident throughout the match as he created several chances for his teammates and ended the match with an impressive three assists.

“I didn’t really look to shoot a whole lot,” said Drowley, “I tried to be better with my passing because it makes us look a lot better as a team. I thought we could have scored a few more goals, but 6-0 isn’t that bad.”

Although the Ithaca attack was dangerous all game, much of its dominance was due to the defense's ability to regain and recycle possession.

“My defense was very successful this game. I barely touched the ball at all which is phenomenal on their part,” commented Ithaca keeper Jacob Pierce, “It’s kind of boring for me but it’s for the upside because it means our defense is playing really well. We also held [the ball] in the midfield pretty well and our forwards worked a lot better in this game compared to the previous games.”

After the match, Vanderploeg was pleased with the way his team played and elated for the seniors for finishing their final home game in such a dominant fashion. “I knew it was our last home game and I kind of forgot about it during the game, but now that I look back on it, it’s a pretty cool way to go out.”

Despite the dominance the team showed, Ithaca now must begin to look ahead as it finishes the regular season schedule next week before heading into the district playoffs.

The Yellowjackets' head coach Doug Strait, however, remains confident that his team will be able to avoid complacency going forward.

“We were looking at that today, but the guys are going to want to play hard especially against Lakeview because we lost to them earlier this year. Then we have the rest of next week to prepare for districts. That’ll be nice to get some practice time in and get everyone on the same page before the Alma game at districts.”

Last Updated: 10/3/2013 10:18:13 PM EST

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