Cardinal opened the 2014 season by jumping out to a 3-1 lead over visiting Conneaut then had to come from behind to salvage a 4-4 tie with the Spartans on Saturday.
“It was a good game,” said Cardinal coach Dale Holcomb. “There were a lot of near-misses on our part. We probably had six or seven goals that just missed going in. It was our first game and we have some kinks to work out but we looked pretty good.”
Brandon Wicks, who scored a school record 16 goals last season, netted the first two goals of the new season to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.
“He probably could have had a couple of more,” Holcomb said. “He missed a couple times, not by much. He’s come a long ways. It took us awhile but I think we have him playing more aggressively. He’s always been somewhat laid back but we’ve got him to turn that corner and playing more aggressive.”
A Conneaut goal cut Cardinal’s lead in half but John Canterbury scored to make it 3-1.
“He’s got the potential,” Holcomb said. “That’s one of the reason he’s playing up front. He’s got a good leg, he’s quick and he does have that killer instinct. If the ball is anywhere near him he’ll probably get a foot on it.”
The Spartans scored the next two goals to take a 4-3 second half lead.
“We were trying some things, being the first game we probably shouldn’t have, but we were trying people in different positions to see what they do best,” Holcomb said. “We left the middle open a couple of times and that’s how they got ahead of us. We adjusted as soon as we could and everything was back to normal.”
Ian Mast, who was second on the team in goals scored last season, scored the final goal of the game to lock up the draw.
“He’s an all-around player,” Holcomb said. “He plays defense as well as he does offense. If he stays up front more we might be able to get some more goals out of him. He’s a good player.”
Evan List recorded over 10 saves in the game and freshman Jake Revak had a pair of assists.
“(List) is doing fantastic right now. We had him in a couple scrimmages and he did quite well in those. I think he’s going to do fine for us this year,” Holcomb said. “Jake’s just a freshman but there’s a lot of potential there. It’s wait and see on him. He looks really good in practice. He’s a very good passer. He sees the field really well and knows when to release the ball and when not to.”
Kathryn Dhayer didn’t make the box score but she did draw praise from her coach for her efforts on the field.
“On defense she has been impressive,” Holcomb said. “She was real impressive last year and she’s starting off good this year. She played defensive mid most of the game and she was busting everything up.”
The Huskies return to action on Monday when they travel to Cornerstone Christian Academy.