Cheung’s hat trick bails out lackluster soccer performance

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The Springfield soccer squad found themselves in Jacksonville Tuesday evening for a matchup that could very well carry weight in the conference picture by the end of the season.

The Jacksonville Crimsons were fresh off a 6-1 victory over the SHG Cyclones, which naturally raised the brows of many soccer fans in central Illinois, as SHG has a long history of soccer success. Senior forward Steven Albers and the Crimsons looked to hand the Senators a very unexpected loss.

Senior forward Nate Cheung found the back of the net three times during the game, which turned out to be just enough for the crazy match. Cheung scored just 21 seconds into the game and added another goal with 22:30 remaining in the first half.

However, the momentum soon turned in favor of Jacksonville. With just under nine minutes left till half, Jack Racey trimmed the lead to 2-1 Springfield at halftime.

After Cheung’s third goal with 14:11 left in the second half, there seemed to be no hope for the Crimsons, but the tide changed with two minutes remaining. The Crimsons managed to score one more off an own goal by the Senators on a Crimson corner kick, cutting the Senator’s lead to one.

As time expired, the Crimsons drew a foul outside the penalty box giving them one last chance to even the score. Thankfully, the shot from Jacksonville’s Nash Oldenettel was saved by senior goalkeeper Evan Wright, ending the momentum of the Jacksonville offense. The Senators made their way to the finish line, barely in one piece.

Teams are always happy to get the win. However, it is no secret that the mighty Solons will not win many more games if they play like they did Tuesday night.

Tuesday’s performance is simply water under the bridge now. It is now important for the Senators to learn from mistakes and bounce back for the next opponent.

The Senators travel to Granite City Saturday, and continue their Central State Eight Conference schedule against Decatur Macarthur and Southeast on Monday and Tuesday.

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