GREENFIELD — A staunch Creston defense was solid all night in a 3-0 victory over Nodaway Valley boys here Monday night.
Both teams entered the match at 1-2 for the season, and the Wolverines had the early advantage with shots on goal by Gage Zimmerline and Zach Brewer in the first seven minutes.
But then the Panther defense settled in and Creston started getting its share of attacks. Finally, after a Wolverine foul in the box, Conner Pals shoved a penalty kick into the right corner of the net, past the reach of goalkeeper Jacob Baudler, for a 1-0 Panther lead 17:13 into the match.
Pals added another goal at 32:40 on an assist by Trevor Frain for a 2-0 Panther lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, McClain Haines knocked in a goal on another assist by Frain for the final 3-0 margin.
“Trevor got the ball in the center,” said Creston coach Jesus Rodriguez. “McClain and Conner made a run. He (Frain) put the ball over the defenders and McClain had it one-on-one with the keeper. He flicked it over the keeper and tapped it into the net.”
Rodriguez said it was an improved performance from last week’s 3-2 loss at home to West Central Valley.
“Definitely, we played better than Thursday,” Rodriguez said. “We brought the same type of intensity, and this time we were able to finish some of the one-on-ones. The defense played great.”
Gage Cheers, slowed by injury last week, and Brant Hudson, coming back from illness, shored up the back of the Panther defense.
“This game, we were more organized and the guys communicated well,” Rodriguez said.
The teams battled to a 0-0 tie in the JV contest. Jake Miller was in goal for the Panthers.
Creston plays at Denison Thursday in a girl-boy doubleheader.
Creston 3, Nodaway Valley 0
Creston (3) — Conner Pals penalty kick, 17:13; Pals (Trevor Frain assist), 32:40; McClain Haines (Frain assist), 40:24. Team shots — 8. Shots on goal — 11. Individual shots on goal — Frain 3, Pals 3, Haines 3, Levi Eblen 1. Keeper saves — Alex Nielsen 9, Jake Miller 3. Fouls — 6. Cards — None.
Nodaway Valley (0) — Shots on goal — Not available. Saves — Jacob Baudler 8. Cards — Jadyn Erlandson (Y).