MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon boys soccer team took another step toward becoming an elite team Tuesday.
The Yellow Jackets got a solid, all-around effort in beating Worthington Kilbourne, 2-0, at Yellow Jacket Stadium. The Wolves (0-3-3) were ranked 10th in the central district this week.
“This was a fun game to be a part of and to play in,” said Mount Vernon coach Scott Dapprich. “For our program, this is a stepping stone in beating a top 10 team in the central district. We just need to keep plugging away.
“The guys are believing and have faith in each other. Sometimes the kids have to actually start realizing and believing they can play at that caliber. I think our group is really setting in to the point where ‘hey, we can play with some of the stronger teams. And not just play with them, but overcome as well.’ I guess that’s what’s exciting to me about how this program is moving and progressing.”
Both defenses controlled the game early, not letting either offense get much going. Mount Vernon (5-1-1) had a couple of opportunities, but Kilbourne goalkeeper Nick Hills made a couple of nice saves to keep the game scoreless.
Brian Boutin broke the scoreless tie at the 8:52 mark of the first half when he picked up a pass from Clint Israel and deposited it in the upper left corner of the net.
“Chris Israel made a great pass and Brian was right where he needed to be in front of the keeper and tapped it in,” Dapprich said. “That’s one of our set plays. Our kids were at the right place at the right time and we connected.
“It’s fun to see when things are executed on the soccer field. There’s not much scoring in soccer, so when you see it, it excites you. It really excites me with this group because they really pay attention. They usually try to do what you’re asking of them.”
Kilbourne had a good chance late in the half, but as was the case all night, the defense and keeper Alex Dunnavant were there for MV.
Mount Vernon kept peppering the Wolves’ keeper in the second half, but weren’t able to dent the scoreboard again until there was just over a minute left in the game. Brandyn McQuigg made a nice move with the ball and beat the Kilbourne keeper to give Mount Vernon some breathing room.
The Jackets had 16 shots on goal and had six corner kicks, including three straight midway through the second half. They allowed just 11 shots on goal, all of which were stopped by Dunnavant.
“Dunny made some great saves for us tonight, especially right at the end,” Dapprich said. “I can’t say enough about the play of our captains (Tad Glibert and Clint Eutsey) tonight. They came up with some big plays that didn’t lead to some shots because of them being able to get headers on the ball or them bodying up on their bigger players.
“Our defense was very solid. Collin (Riley) sweeping in the back. He saved us many times. He’s just a tremendous player for us back there. He reads the game so well. It’s fun to watch him play. ... I think our defense was solid with Craig Drews and Trent Kiger. ... And Devyn’s (Whyte) come off the bench and given us some quality minutes. It’s a good shutout for our defense.”
The Jackets will travel to Mansfield Senior on Thursday. The junior varsity starts the night off at 5:30 p.m.