MT. CARMEL, ILL. – If there were any lingering after-effects from the grueling, fight-marred Big 8 Conference loss to Mt. Vernon, IN. two nights prior, the Mt. Carmel soccer Aces did not show any against Illinois’ Mt. Vernon on Thursday.
The Aces scored all the goals they needed in the first half and made them stand in a 2-0 non-conference win over the visiting Rams in action on the WVC pitch.
Mt. Carmel (5-1, 0-1 in Big 8) jumped on top in the game’s 15th minute on a goal by Ethan Belt on an assist from Kaleb Johnson. Six minutes later, Belt was on the delivery end, finding Britton Heinrich open for an insurance goal top make it 2-0.
The Aces outshot the Rams, 24-15. “We created more scoring opportunities in this one than in Tuesday’s match,” said Mt. Carmel coach Ed Berberich of his team’s offense. Thirteen of the shots were on frame. The Aces also created 10 additional scoring chances, had eight interceptions, and three ball recoveries.
“We still need to work on our possession and how we’re moving without the ball,” Berberich said. “I think fatigue is having an effect in this regard, but offensively, we're watching the ball too much, rather than moving as the ball moves to get in good positions to help out whoever has or receives the ball.”
Mt. Vernon sent 11 of its shots on frame, and finished with 10 corner kicks. Berberich was pleased, though, with the overall effort on defense against the Rams.
“We did do a better job of moving with the ball and jumping on passes when we could,” he said. “That led to us getting six more interceptions than we did on Tuesday.”
The Aces are idle this weekend. Their next match is on Monday at home against perennial Indiana power Washington (8-0-1, 2-0) at 5:30 p.m. The Hatchets are ranked second in the Indiana Class 2A poll.