FAIRMONT - Fairmont Area's Grant Becker scored two goals as the Cardinals netted a 2-0 shutout of the New Prague Trojans on Monday at Mahoney Field.
The Cardinals attacked the Trojans' goal with 19 shots in the first half, but junior goaltender Zach Jones denied every attempt and held Fairmont Area scoreless.
"I thought we had some great offensive chances in the first half," said Fairmont Area head coach Jeff Kot. "Their goalie made some fantastic saves though and kept them in the game."
IN SYNC — Fairmont Area defender Brandon Jensen (12) and New Prague midfielder Adam Sivula arrive at the soccer ball at the same time during nonconference action Monday night at Mahoney Field in Fairmont. Photo by Leanna Becker
One of the Cardinals' key scoring opportunties in the first half came when Becker carried the ball down the left side and dropped a pass to his right to Lucas Miles, who fired just wide of the net.
Later in the half, Becker and Miles combined again for another scoring opportunity with a give-and-go at midfield. Becker carried the ball into the Trojan end, but his shot went wide of the goal.
"I thought they had some good speed upfront and a great goalie. We made some mistakes in the first half, they made me nervous at times, but for the most part I was happy with the way we played," said Kot.
It didn't take long for the Cardinals to capitalize in the second half. Oscar Svenfelt challenged a New Prague defender inside the goalie box, and was granted a penalty kick for the Cardinals.
Becker took the kick and powered it past Jones at 38:26 to make it 1-0.
Miles had a chance to extend the Cardinal lead when he ripped a shot on goal from the top of the goalie box. Jones tipped the shot against the crossbar and turned around to catch the ball before it could fall in for a goal.
Becker then tallied his second goal of the night at 13:23 in the second half. With some fancy footwork, Becker was able to sneak past the Trojan defenders and score to make it 2-0.
"We worked the ball around tonight and got some great looks. They played a similar game to ours, so it was tough to get through the defense, but we were still able to get good shots on net," said Kot.
Jones turned away nine shots in the second half for a 21-save performance on the game, while the Trojan offense recorded five shots on goal.
Fairmont Area's Matt Tennyson stopped all five shots for his sixth shutout of the season.
Fairmont Area (12-1) travels to New Ulm for a 5 p.m. South Central Conference game on Thursday.
New Prague 0-0-0
Fairmont Area 0-2-2
FA-Grant Becker (penalty kick), 38:23.
FA-Grant Becker (unassisted), 13:23.
Saves: Matt Tennyson (FA) 2-3-5; Zach Jones (NP) 12-9-21.
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 36; New Prague 5.