Boys Soccer

Athenians bested by tough Mavericks


LAFAYETTE – Jaziel Gil-Herrera wiped his forehead with one hand and received accolades with the other.

The Crawfordsville junior had just got his team on the board in the 37th minute of the first half. But the Athenians played from behind all evening after three quick McCutcheon goals in a 6-1 non-conference loss to the host Mavericks.

“They play a very good possession game, good ball pressure and accomplished their game plan,” Crawfordsville coach Marcus Hale said. ”On top of that they play a tough schedule.”

The setback ends a three-game win streak for Crawfordsville (8-5). The Athenians also had won six of the last seven. This was their fourth match in seven days.

Maverick freshman sensation Nery Pacheco used his speed to help on his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the first 18 minutes. He would add two second half goals as well before sitting the last 20 minutes.

Gil-Herrera’s score as his 10th of the year, second best on the team behind Manuel Olvera. The latter faced a lot of double coverage against the Mavs defense.

“We have to get our head up and find someone open. If we’re double teamed we have a teammate somewhere.”

Hale was more satisfied with the last 40 minutes.

“We played much better in the second half in terms of being more aggressive and handling the pressure. Communication also was better in the second half.”

The visitors had a couple shots to close the gap in the second half. Olvera got behind the McCutcheon (6-4-1) defense twice receiving good onside passes. One shot was deflected enough to go wide and senior goalkeeper Adiel Plascencia stopped the other. 

Crawfordsville was outshot 19-7 after averaging nearly 13 shots per match. Junior goalkeeper Alec Saidian had 12 saves.

Hale’s squad goes after the Montgomery County championship Wednesday at North Montgomery.

“We just have show up and play our game. That’s how county matchups are. They know each other well. We need to prepare for a hard-fought contest. That’s what you get with one of these matchups.”