Avel Garcia-Fetter (right), who recorded a hat trick in the game, battles for the ball against Central Linn. PHOTO PROVIDED/ALESHA CULP
The 2018 fall season kicked off with a shutout split for the Creswell Bulldogs boys’ soccer team last week. In their preseason opener on Sept. 4, the Dawgs were shut out 0-2 by host 4A Elmira, but rebounded to shut out visiting Central Linn, 9-0 on Sept. 5, paced by a hat trick from Avel Garcia-Fetter.
In the first half at Elmira, the Falcons headed in a goal off a repeat corner kick while the distracted Bulldogs were still arguing the call that set up the second corner. Elmira scored again in the second half after a miscommunication between Creswell goalkeeper Jaxson Wilkerson and his defense.
”We came out looking super, super good. We moved the ball really well, and were playing better than we played last year,” said Creswell Head Coach Brandi Wittenborn. ”Unfortunately, they were just able to capitalize on some mistakes we made.”
Wilkerson made 10 first-half and six second-half saves in goal for the Bulldogs.
”We probably outshot them 3-1, but we couldn’t get anything to go in,” Wittenborn said. ”Most of our shots went right into their goalkeeper’s hands or just wide.”
Standouts for the Bulldogs were starting forward/center midfielders Cam Nguyen and Garcia-Fetter, as well as Alex Metteer and Sky Leach off the bench. ”They all did a fantastic job,” Wittenborn said. ”It was a nice surprise to see all these players rise up.”
Against the coed Central Linn Cobras, things started clicking for Creswell about 20 minutes in, ”and from there we never looked back,” Wittenborn said.
Garcia-Fetter got the Dawgs on the board with an unassisted goal in the 23rd minute. Rogelio Legorreta added another solo goal at 28 minutes. Garcia-Fetter’s second goal followed, assisted by Legorreta, and José Ayala brought the halftime score to 4-0, assisted by Legorreta.
Brian Clowers scored minutes into the second half, assisted by Javier Fregoso. Nguyen added an unassisted goal; Metteer scored, assisted by Garcia-Fetter; and, after switching from defender to forward, Nick Bronson scored, assisted by Nguyen.
Garcia-Fetter capped scoring, and his hat trick, by punching in another solo goal.
”After the first 20 minutes, we started shooting and passing better, and looking more like the team that showed up to play Elmira,” Wittenborn said.