Nixa, MO (For Ozarks Sports Zone) -- Greenwood coach Chris Shull knew his team was in for a tough match Thursday when they visited an experienced Nixa Eagles team. Even though the 5-0 score doesn’t look good on paper, the Blue Jays soccer coach said it didn’t reflect his team’s overall performance.
“I’m happy with the guys,” Shull said. “This is a good game for us -- to play a big school like this.”
But Shull is still a coach, after all, and said even for a small school, the Blue Jays (2-2) will need to learn from the game.
“Nixa is just a heck of a team,” Shull said. “You make one mistake and they’ll make you pay for it. And that’s kind of what happened.”
The Eagles (4-0) scored two in the first half, including a shot by Scott Sterling assisted by Richie Fenwick in the 15th minute.
After a few shots missed wide left, Austin Engleman was able to score in the 37th minute when a cross by Blake Johnson deflected off a Greenwood defender.
Nixa seemed to control the ball throughout the game, showing their experience running designed plays and making passes. Their players were able to dribble through defenders, seemingly wearing them down.
Eagles coach Evan Palmer said his team did a good job of keeping possession, which ultimately led to tiring defenders and opening up shots.
But in the second half, the Blue Jays made some adjustments by pulling defenders in closer to the goal.
Greenwood was able to deflect shots and possess the ball with a few shots by Nick Hogan just sailing over the goal. But Nixa was able to adjust as well and started crossing the ball from the flank position to open up more shots.
Finally in the 59th minute, Nixa was able to net their third goal when Scott Sterling hit a cross that Sebastian Marcos was able to kick past Greenwood goalie Evan Loyd.
“Teams are going to hunker in (toward the goal) a little bit against us so we’ve got to learn how to get better opportunities,” Palmer said. “Greenwood did a fantastic job getting in the way. Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves.”
While Loyd was able to stave off several shots, Nixa kept pressing and was able to get past defenders. In the 64th minute, Robert Neathery was able to score his fifth goal of the year off a 30-yard pass from Austin Engleman.
Then in the 76th minute, Greenwood defenders showed their exhaustion as they failed to clear out a ball that Nixa freshman Trustin Baker booted in from 10 yards out to score the final goal of the game.
Shull said his players were a little beat up after a tough win against Central High School Wednesday, and Nixa’s speed and ball control was more than they could handle.
“They’re a type of team that will make a defense look disorganized,” Shull said. “They just play unselfish soccer. … I’m really excited to watch them the rest of their year in districts.”
Greenwood will head to Joplin Tuesday to play Thomas Jefferson. Nixa will travel to Neosho Sept. 13 for a district matchup against the 1-2 Wildcats.
Box Score Nixa 5, Greenwood 0 Nonconference game
Nixa 2-3 ---5
Greenwood 0-0 --- 0 First Half
NHS - Scott Sterling (assisted by Richie Fenwick)
NHS - Austin Engleman (assisted by Blake Johnson) Second Half
NHS - Sebastian Marcos (assisted by Scott Sterling)
NHS - Robert Neathery (assisted by Austin Engleman)
NHS - Trustin Baker (unassisted)
It was a tough weekend for our local teams in Blue Springs.
Both Springfield Catholic and Nixa went 0-for-2 on the weekend, forcing them to settle for fourth place in Class 3 and Class 1 respectively.
CLICK HERE FOR NIXA 3RD PLACE GAME PHOTOS --...
In the aftermath of Drury's run to the National Championship, a common topic has arisen in the area.
In a one game scenario, could the Panthers beat Missouri State?
Naturally, my first inclination is to say no. The difference between the mid-major,...
Just 16 days ago Nyla Milleson was let go as the head coach of the Lady Bears.
Missouri State President Clif Smart and Athletic Director Kyle Moats both took turns citing a laundry list of reasons, both on and off the court, as to why the...