Cross Country

EFFINGHAM, Ill. - They say with knowledge comes power. New Golden Aces soccer coach Ed Berberich hopes that the knowledge gained about his team in the season-opening Effingham tournament will produce more powerful results later in the season.

Though the Aces finished with an 0-3 record in the tourney, Berberich learned a lot about this young team. “While it was disappointing not to come up with a win on the day, we did came away with what I feel was more important, which was some knowledge of the team we have and how it fits together,” Berberich said.

“This year, we have to replace every player that played through the middle of the field on last year’s team, from the goalie up to the forwards, and that will be a work in progress but we are starting to see who will be able to do that for us.”

In the opener, Berberich admitted his club looked a bit “disjointed” in a 4-0 loss to Greenville with three of the Comets goals coming in the first half. “I believe that every player started the day playing in a spot that they hadn’t really played in the past, so it was encouraging to see how they adapted to that,” Berberich said.

The next game was played at the height of the afternoon heat against defending champion Carlyle. The Aces lost 2-0, but “continued to show improvement both in defense and in the attack in this game,” according to Berberich.

Mt. Carmel scored its first goal of the season in the final game against Salem. Doug Sievers found the net on an assist from Grant Hockgeiger as the Aces took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute. Salem rallied to win, 2-1.

“We were able to build a much more consistent attack,” Berberich said. “We might have been able to win this match with some better finishing and if we had possessed the ball better in the attacking third of the field.”

Triston Dillard started at goalkeeper for the first time, and “played great in the three matches,” said Berberich.

The Aces have three games in three days this week, beginning with Wednesday’s home opener against Evansville Day, beginning at 4:15 p.m. at the WVC soccer field.

“We’ll continue to hope for in-game improvement until we can get back to some training and working on things we saw over the weekend,” Berberich said.