GREENVILLE — The difference between Greenville’s boys soccer team and Lakeview’s were obvious Monday night.
“I thought we possessed the ball real well,” Greenville coach Chris Hamman said. “That’s one of the things we’ve been stressing. We probably controlled most of the game.”
That fact didn’t escape the notice of Lakeview coach Chris Smith.
“Greenville has a nice squad,” Smith said. “They do a great job with small passes. They have the most skilles passing we’ve seen.”
The Wildcats had a slight bit of momentum on their side in the 16th minute when goalkeeper Timmy Reed stopped a penalty kick, then stopped a rebound attempt after that.
“That was a really nice save,” Smith said.
However three minutes later Greenville’s Nolan Berry scored the first of his three goals when he took a goal kick from keeper Lucas Wilson to make a long run and beat Reed.
Conner Swindell put the Jackets (2-1) up 2-0 with a penalty kick in the 23rd minute, and Greenville went into the half leading 2-0.
“I felt we played tough in the first half,” Smith said. “They (Greenville) are a tough team to last a whole game with.”
Hamman didn’t want Greenville to change anything.
“Just to continue what we had been doing,” he said. “They potential was already there. Once we started we went at it.”
That start came just a minute into the second half when Berry fed Mark Hebert with a pass that was hammered in. Four minutes later, Randy Hebert scored on a rebound of a Berry shot, and four minutes after that, Berry got his second of the night from Mark Hebert’s long lead pass.
Hebert scored on a penalty kick for his second of the night in the 55th minute and Berry finished the hat trick when he kicked in Hebert’s throw-in.
Once the first three goals of the second half were scored, that’s when Lakeview’s youth started to show, Smith said.
“I think by then we started working on goal a full game,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of experience to sub in from the bench.”
Meanwhile, Wilson was getting lonely in goal for the Jackets, as he never faced a shot.
“We’ve really been emphasizing the defense and using a zone on defense,” Hamman said. “So rather than have a sweeper the job goes to all four defenders back there. They really worked, too.”
Berry finished with three goals and two assists, and Mark Hebert had two goals and two assists. Reed made 12 saves for the Wildcats.
Lakeview plays again today at home against Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian, while Greenville plays again Wednesday at Muskegon Mona Shores.