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Panthers rally after starter injured

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:14 p.m. CDT

MISSOURI VALLEY — The Creston boys soccer team overcame an early injury setback and deficit on the scoreboard to overtake Missouri Valley, 3-2.

The Panthers, now 1-1, fell behind 1-0 early in the match, shortly after defender Alex Tamerius left with a knee injury.

“His foot got stuck in the grass. He could be out quite a while, but we won’t know until he gets a specialist to look at it,” said coach Jesus Rodriguez.

Gage Cheers filled in for Tamerius on the defense and the Panthers got settled in and played a solid match from there, allowing no scoring until the Big Reds headed in a corner kick in the final five minutes. Kevin Pellman also played the position during the match.

The Panthers tied it 1-1 before halftime on an unassisted goal by sophomore McClain Haines.

“Mac did a great job of being patient after the keeper came out for the ball,” Rodriguez said. “Mac took his time, dragged it back and shot to the open net.”

Conner Pals scored twice in the second half, moving his total to four goals already in two matches. He was assisted by Levi Eblen on the first one, and dribbled through the defense and shot with his left foot for the second one.

Goalkeeper Alex Nielsen had 12 saves.

“We played good,” Rodriguez said. “It was way better than the first game. We were switching the field, passing much better. We were doing things we’ve been working on in practice. Now we just need some practice time to work on our set pieces.”

The Panthers won’t get that practice time today, however. Creston travels to Chariton today.

Creston 3, Missouri Valley 2

Creston (3) — McClain Haines 10:00 first half; Conner Pals (Levi Eblen assist) 24:00 second half; Pals (Haines assist) 23:00 second half. Shots on goal — 14. Individual shots on goal — Haines 4, Pals 3, Garret Geary 2, Trevor Frain 2, Kaleb Cook 1, MIchael Walsh 1, Cory Rathe 1. Keeper saves — Alex Nielsen 12. Fouls — 11. Cards — Rathe (Y), coach Rodriguez (Y).

Missouri Valley (2) — Goals at 30:00 first half and 5:00 second half. Saves — 13.

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