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Story Last modified at 9:34 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mustang boys still muttering
Despite win, Chugiak still not up to speed

BY MATT TUNSETH
Alaska Star

photo:Sports

Chugiak's Isaac Wolf goes up for a header among a crowd of Bartlett defenders during the Mustangs' 6-2 win at The Dome on April 16. Wolf scored twice for Chugiak in his first game back from a leg injury.
STAR PHOTO BY MATT TUNSETH

Chugiak's boys soccer team was again grumbling in spite of a solid result on April 16 after a sloppy 6-2 win over last-place Bartlett.

"I think we should have played better," said junior Isaac Wolf, who scored two goals in his first game since injuring a knee in the season opener last month. "I think we dropped down to their level."

Though unbeaten in their last three games and boasting a 3-2-1 Cook Inlet Conference record, Wolf said the Mustangs weren't satisfied because of how close the game was. Bartlett is winless this season, but the Golden Bears were literally jumping for joy after getting a Brenton Gunn goal in the final minute of the first half that cut Chugiak's lead to 3-2.

"You can easily fall into playing down to their level, but great teams play up their own level every time," Wolf said.

The game couldn't have started better for Chugiak, which took a 1-0 lead on a Sebastian Ruesch goal in the opening minute.

Forrest Campnell and Jake Wells teamed up to create Chugiak's second goal, although neither got credit after Wells' cross banged into a Bartlett defender and past Golden Bears keeper Alix Harrison for an own goal.

Seconds later, Bartlett's grief turned to glory when Yeng Lor was credited with a goal after Chugiak goalie Clayton Bush couldn't come up with the ball on a scramble in front of the net to make it 2-1.

Chugiak led 3-1 after Wolf's first goal, a semi-breakaway effort that he tucked past a sprawling Harrison and into the net.

Chugiak's bugaboo this season has been its finishing ability, and Mustangs coach George Campnell said it was nice to see Wolf's touch was true after four games on the mend.

"It was a good comeback for him," Campnell said.

Chugiak's frustrations about the game may have had something to do with the play of Harrison, whose acrobatic saves drew rave reviews from Campnell.

"He made at least four really outstanding saves," he said.

Chugiak peppered Harrison with shots all evening, and continued to push the action in the second half. The Mustangs went up 4-2 when midfielder Brad Fussner's perfectly placed through ball found a streaking Campnell, whose finish was a mere formality.

That goal may have broken Bartlett, and Chugiak was able to assert its dominance as the game wore on. Nathan Macalino scored in the 54th minute to make it 5-2, and Wolf capped his solid return with the game's final goal in the 67th.

Campnell said his team's offensive punch wasn't lacking, but he would have liked to see the squad doing more to finish its myriad opportunities.

"We just really have to solve that," he said.

Wolf said Chugiak has to work on its discipline, and the team is working to create more fluid, possession-based chances instead of knocking the ball up and down the field and seeing what happens.

"We have to make better passes and keep the ball on the ground," he said.

Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or matt.tunseth@alaskastar.com.

MUSTANGS 6, GOLDEN BEARS 2

Chugiak 3 3 – 6

Bartlett 2 0 – 2

Chugiak – Ruesch (1st), Wolf (30th), Campnell (46th), Na. Macalino (54th), Wolf (67th)

Bartlett – No. 5 (own goal, 15th), Lor (15th), Gunn (40th)



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.