A year after losing a tight 1-0 decision in the MIAA C Conference championship game, the Glenelg Country boys soccer team has big goals this fall.
But, as coach Ryan Hellem says, the Dragons are being careful not to get too far ahead of themselves.
On Thursday afternoon Glenelg Country stayed in the moment and took care of business against crosstown rival Chapelgate, earning a 3-0 victory on the road to improve to 3-0 in Conference play this year. Parker Holbrook scored twice and added an assist to lead the offensive attack.
“I think we continue to get better on a weekly basis. We have a lot of seniors, a lot of good leadership, and you can see it with games like today that we are just now starting to grow into ourselves,” Hellem said. “It’s nice to the results and the transfer over of the things we work on in practice into the games.”
In the early stages of Thursday’s game played on Chapelgate’s grass field, Glenelg Country (3-0, 3-1-1) had chances but was struggling to get on the end of any of them. It wasn’t until the 18th minute that Holbrook finally broke the ice.
Taking the feed from Aidan Wisely on the left wing, the junior midfielder one-touched the ball into the net. As the game progressed, Holbrook said getting that first one was key.
“Definitely once you get that first goal, it brings in a lot more chances and you feel more hopeful about the upcoming chances,” Holbrook said. “You could easily put your head down after a missed chance. So our coach kept urging us on to … finish the game off.”
After the game went into halftime with Glenelg Country still holding a 1-0 advantage, the Dragons extended things early in the second half.
Just eight minutes out of halftime, Holbrook corralled a ball on the left wing and played it to Wisely in the center of the field. From there, Wisely settled the ball and curled a shot just inside the far post to make it 2-0.
A minute later, Holbrook scored his second of the game off a feed from Jay Shin.
“We are happy with the number of chances that we are getting and we know that eventually the goals will come if we are putting the ball in the right places,” Hellem said. “The goal is improvement, whether it’s day to day or half to half, and you saw tangible improvement today in terms of the two second-half goals to extend our lead.”
Chapelgate (0-2, 0-5-2) was ultimately unable to find the scoreboard and is still searching for its first victory of the season. But as coach Tim Ryerson said afterward, his guys are still fighting.
“The effort that they gave today shows a lot and that’s all that I’m really asking them to do at this point. We’re strategically working on some things that will hopefully help us be successful moving forward, but it’s just taking a little time,” Ryerson said. “Glenelg (Country) is a high-level team and I thought they maybe wore us down just a little in the second half, but we never let up and I’m proud of our guys for that.”