Frigid temps can’t derail Cascade’s hot start

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Gerson Solis finds an open shot through the Cougar defense and finds the back of the net. Solis scored a hat trick in the first half to spur Cascade’s hot start.
T-G Photo by Chris Siers

The temperatures may have been frigid as could be in Cascade’s season opener on Tuesday afternoon, but coach Zack Spears couldn’t have asked for any hotter of a start from his team against MTCS.

Thanks to a first-half hat trick by senior Gerson Solis, Cascade coasted to a 4-1 victory over the Cougars.

“He’s pretty much our target up front. They find him as much as they can. He’s absolutely a spark plug,” Spears said.

It didn’t take Solis long to break the scoreless stalemate. Following a foul just outside the box, Solis found his first goal with 33:57 left in the half.

He added a second score on a breakaway 11 minutes later and finished his hat trick off a corner assist by Aram Soto, which Solis finished on a header with just under 10 minutes left in the half.

MTCS never mounted a serious threat at the Champions in the first half, thanks largely in part to a stiff back line that refused to break.

Spears also credited his team’s growth since the final preseason game last week.

“Our back line looked really good all night. It was a great team effort. We’ve been working a lot on moving the ball. We played a preseason game on Friday and our passing wasn’t very good,” he said.

“We worked a lot on passing and I was very impressed. We looked like we wanted to control the game.”

Cascade dodged a bullet early in the second half following a violent collision involving keeper Sanders Lovvorn near the 36-minute mark.

On the play, Lovvorn was drawn out of the box and made a diving save, taking a shot to the face in the process.

Following the play, Lovvorn was forced to the sidelines, but re-entered shortly after.

“That was a great play taking the shot to the face and coming back strong. I’m just so excited with how we played tonight,” Spears said.

The Cougars avoided the shutout with 3:33 left in the game with its lone goal.

Still, Spears praised his team’s efforts for battling the elements and coming away with a season-opening victory.

“Some of them look like they’re frozen, but I was proud. This is soccer weather. They did well,” he said.

Cascade returns home on Thursday afternoon and hosts cross-county rival Community at 4 p.m.

MTCS 0 1 — 1

Cascade 3 1 — 4

First Half

C — Gerson Solis goal, 33:57.

C — Solis goal, 22:27.

C — Solis goal, Aram Soto assist, 9:59.

Second Half

C — Devon Whittaker goal, 17:44.

M — goal, 3:33.