Your Prep Sports
SOLON – No team wants to have a match like the one Solon had last month against Dyersville Beckman.
The 5-1 loss to the Blazers three weeks ago wasn’t enjoyable for Solon coach Jeremey McMurrin or the Spartans.
It may not have been what it wanted but that lopsided loss to fourth-ranked Beckman proved to be exactly what Solon needed.
“Absolutely, 100 percent we needed that,” McMurrin said of the April 14 loss. “We went up there and they manhandled us and we went in with the attitude that we are pretty good right now and we needed a match like that. It was definitely a reality check that we needed.”
In the three weeks since that loss Solon has been perfect.
Class 2A No. 10 Solon (11-2) stretched its winning streak to five with an impressive 3-0 win over Class 1A No. 14 Williamsburg (9-3) on Thursday on an overcast afternoon at Spartan Stadium in Solon.
Solon has outscored opponents 15-2 in its five wins since the loss to Dyersville Beckman after posting its second consecutive shutout and eighth shutout of the season against Williamsburg Thursday.
“Those games always put you in your place,” Solon senior Owen Erusha said. “Sometimes when you are undefeated or only have one loss you start to think you are really good and sometimes you need a loss to put you in your place and make you realize you still can improve.”
Solon actually led 1-0 early in the loss at Dyersville Beckman before the Blazers rattled off five unanswered goals to close the match.
It was a match that stuck with the Spartans – in a good way.
“It was really upsetting but we learned a lot,” Solon senior William Wittich said. “It really just motivated us and in practice we are working harder than ever and it’s showing on the pitch.”
Several of the lessons from the loss showed up in Thursday’s win – foremost among those lessons learned was not letting up after an early goal.
Following a scoreless first half filled with Solon scoring opportunities the Spartans got on the board less than two minutes into the second half on a Williamsburg own goal.
“After the first goal sometimes we let down and we just need to keep going and keep being aggressive after that first goal,” Erusha said. “It’s about putting your chances away when you get them. When you aren’t putting them away you have to keep creating those chances. The more chances you create the more you will eventually put away.”
Rather than letting up Solon got its offense rolling.
Wittich made it 2-0 when he scored off an Eli Freerks assist in the 58th minute.
It was the eighth goal of the season for Wittich.
“I saw it coming in and Eli (Freerks) played it to me,” Wittich said. “I just tried to hit it, I know I need to take shots and it went in.”
Freshman Caleb Bock put the final touches on the win with a goal in the 69th minute.
Since allowing seven goals in losses to Marion and Beckman in early April the Spartans have given up just two goals since.
“We have some kids that we moved around a little bit and it’s really just made us more solid and more balanced,” McMurrin said. “We are just winning balls. There for a while we struggled not winning the 50-50 balls and I feel like tonight we did a really good job, Owen and Logan Sieverding did a great job of winning those 50-50 balls.