Boys soccer: Prairie Ridge notches 10th win with 4-2 victory over Hampshire
Prairie Ridge has set some of its focus on 2017 this season.
Many of the Wolves want to beat some of the records set by that year's team that finished with a 18-3 record and No. 1 overall sectional seed before losing in the regional final round.
They made a big step toward reaching those goals in a 4-2 Fox Valley Conference win over Hampshire on Tuesday afternoon. PR won its 10th match of the year, matching the most wins in a season for the program since 2017.
"We still need to not let up another loss, that's a big part," junior Henry Knoll said. "I think scoring goals and not allowing a lot of goals is a big part."
PR (10-2, 2-1) replicated what it has done well all season to get to win No. 10 - score early and play sound defense. The Wolves got on the board when Kaj Justeson created space to make himself open for a shot that flew past diving Hampshire goalkeeper Parker Smith with 29:10 left in the first half.
The team kept applying pressure and made it 2-0 when Mason Fowler drove through the middle of the box and snuck the ball in with 3:50 left in the first half.
Despite the Whips quickly making it a 2-1 game when Shamar Allwood scored with 3:50 left in the first half, PR kept creating chances while its defense held strong. Knoll headed in a goal to make it 3-1 with 28:53 left in the match and then scored on a fast break 21 seconds later to make it 4-1.
"That's the game plan for all of them," PR coach Joe Schroeder said. "Score early and then hope for the best."
Both Schroeder and Knoll said Tuesday's match is exactly what they want to do and has led to their early success. PR had 12 shots on goal while goalkeeper John Malina made six saves. The Wolves average 3.7 goals per match and have allowed an average of .8 goals per match.
Knoll credited the defense for keeping things close when the offense couldn't add to its lead midway through Tuesday's match.
"I think our defense has been playing really well these first few games ..." Knoll said "Altogether our defense needs to get credit for that."
Hampshire (1-5-3, 1-2) made it a 4-2 game with 17:31 left in the match when Jackson Carey scored but the Whip-Purs missed too many chances to keep up with the Wolves. The Whips had eight shots on goal, three corner kicks and seven free kicks but couldn't make the final step to score.
"The chances were there, we just have to keep creating more," Hampshire coach Chayanne Martinez said. "We had our chances, they had theirs and I think the game was pretty even other than that. One or two simple things that we can fix and I think the guys will be all right."
The Whips return to FVC action Thursday when they travel to Crystal Lake South while the Wolves will travel to Huntley on Thursday.
The Wolves sit behind the Gators in the FVC standings after losing 1-0 to them on Thursday, but Schroeder and the Wolves have learned from a tight match and are looking to contend for a tight FVC crown.
"Anybody can beat anybody on any given day," Schroder said. "You have to make sure that you're sharp defensively and then hopefully you can get one more than the opposing side."