By Brian Kalish

September 10, 2019

WAUSAU– It may be early in the Wisconsin Valley Conference boys soccer season, but it sure is looking like Wausau West is the team to beat after shutting out D.C. Everest on Tuesday by the final score of 3-0.

Tuesday’s contest continued the trend of West abusing opponents with suffocating defense and opportunistic offense.

Through three games in conference play, West (3-0 in the Valley and 6-0 overall) has yielded just one goal while scoring 11.

That’s a trend that West coach John Czarnota would like to continue moving forward.

“Last year we lost or went from wining to tied in the last five minutes of the game,” Czarnota said. “This season, most of our team returns.  We’re older and more mature and have that grit and endurance that keeps us going to that last play.”

The game was played fairly evenly through most of the first half as both defenses took center stage.

West finally broke through with a goal from Ethan Cattanach at 36:13 to go up 1-0.

That was followed up seven minutes later by a goal from sophomore David DeLoye.

It was clear that DeLoye’s goal, just minutes from halftime, was the equivalent of a gut punch for the Evergreens.

“Eighty percent of goals in a soccer match happen within five minutes of the beginning of the game, the end of the game or another goal,” Czarnota said. “When you get that goal in, you expect a big push, and it happened.  That energy’s got to go somewhere, and it pulled them out and we were able to capitalize this time.”

The Evergreens’ letdown at the end of the first half was tough to swallow for Everest coach Josh Roloff.

“It’s a hundred percent mental,” Roloff said.  “(West is) a good team, it’s not to take anything away from them.  I thought we played well in the first fifteen (minutes).  After that, they really kind of controlled the game.”

Key to West’s preparation for Everest was designing a plan to contain senior Tamirat Knutson.

The Warriors put senior William Clancy in charge of marking Knutson, and Clancy proved to be up to the task.

“Their defense played well,” Roloff said. “Will Clancy was on (Knutson), he did a nice job on him.  We had a couple of plans to get him free.  We executed it a couple of times and got some decent looks, but again, in a game like this, the execution is huge.”

West’s offense executed once more in the second half as junior Nicholas Raasch knocked home the game’s final score.

Neither team will have long to dwell on Tuesday’s contest as Everest will turn around and play Marshfield on Thursday, while West will take on cross-town rival Wausau East, also on Thursday.

“There’s no slouches in this conference,” said Roloff. “Every week you’ve got to bring it, and Thursday’s no different.”

“We turn around Thursday and play East,” said Czarnota. “So we’ve got the doubleheader across town. The mental challenge of that, that’s part of the growth of our team.”