PDT Sports Writer
JACKSON — With one lone senior on the roster, South Webster soccer coach Corey Claxon understood his Jeeps’ district championship contest with Berlin Hiland was going to present some issues.
Although the Hawks advanced to their ninth-straight regional tournament with a 2-0 win Saturday over South Webster at Jackson’s Alumni Stadium, Claxon was pleased with the overall play of his youthful squad.
“I don’t think we have anything to be ashamed about with the loss today,” Claxon said. “We have made great progress from where we started this season to the district final game.”
Hiland drew first blood in the first half on a Jeff Mast tally past Jeeps keeper Trevor Coriell. The final nail came with 7:15 to go on a shot by Garrett Snow that bounced off the outstretched hands of Coriell and into the net.
Although Coriell was only credited with four saves, he was peppered with chances by the Hawks throughout the contest as they finished with a 23-4 advantage in shots. The Jeeps did have their opportunities, mostly in the second half, but Hiland keeper Tyler Hochstetler was equal to the task as he stopped both South Webster shots on goal in the afternoon.
“They kept the ball on our (side of) the field and got more chances,” Claxon said. “I kind of wish we could’ve kept it down (on the other side), maybe our defense would’ve stepped up a little bit more and put more pressure on them.”
Claxon was pleased with the effort from his freshman keeper.
“He hadn’t played a lot (in goal) before so he’s learning a lot and he’s done a great job all season,” Claxon said. “He did fine tonight as well. We look forward to having him back next year.”
Who Claxon will not have returning next year will be senior Denver Fuller. On a squad with not as much experience as previous years, Claxon felt Fuller provided great leadership during this campaign.
“Denver’s the type of player (who) just gives all heart,” Claxon said. “…He’s not always the man that scores for you or even sets it up but he’s someone I haven’t seen anyone play harder in a long time.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
South Webster 0 0 — 0
Berlin Hiland 1 1 — 2
FIRST HALF: H — J. Mast (TEAM) 35:07.
SECOND HALF: H — Snow (una) 7:15.
SAVES: SW — Coriell (4); H — Hochstetler (2).
Records — South Webster 11-5-4; Hiland 13-3-3.