CEC stymies Eveleth-Gilbert 5-0The Lumberjacks’ high-powered offense wore down visiting Eveleth-Gilbert, while their stingy defense stymied the Golden Bears in a 5-0 shutout win at Hilltop Park in Cloquet.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CLOQUET – If anyone was tallying shots taken by the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys soccer team Tuesday evening, they could have gotten a hand cramp.
They had 25 of them.
The Lumberjacks’ high-powered offense wore down visiting Eveleth-Gilbert, while their stingy defense stymied the Golden Bears in a 5-0 shutout win at Hilltop Park in Cloquet.
Offensively, the Lumberjacks outshot Eveleth-Gilbert 25-3, as senior forward Landen Straub netted a hat trick and scored just 25 seconds into the game.
According to CEC Coach Archie Clark, that’s Straub’s job.
“That’s his role,” Clark said of his captain, “ – not to come back in the midfield and control the ball, but to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Straub has a team-high eight goals already this fall, but he’s the first to say it’s not just him. It’s a team effort through and through.
“We’re just passing wonderfully,” said Straub, noting he’s had a lot of hat tricks in his lifetime. “There’s no chasing, that’s for sure. We’re hooking up
perfectly and things are just
That chemistry was on display Tuesday. In addition to Straub’s three goals, fellow senior captain and midfielder John Scheuer scored, along with senior midfielder Derek Anderson, while forwards Tyler Goebel and Westin Michaud added assists, and senior goalkeeper Jarad Weeks posted his second shutout this fall.
The ’Jacks constant attacking offense, mixed with a defense that rarely allowed the ball within 30 yards of Weeks, impressed Clark.
“I thought our whole team played well today,” said Clark. “I thought it was a good test to come out and kick the ball around.”
Out-numbering the Golden Bears all evening, Clark was pleased with his boys’ efforts against a simply overmatched opponent.
“I think they had a feeling that Eveleth-Gilbert wasn’t as skilled as they were,” said Clark, “but they still came out and played. That’s important.”
Straub agreed, saying this year things are different.
“In the past, we’ve been a team to play down to our opponents’ level, but this year, we’ve really been playing how we should be playing at all times,” Straub said. “Today we came in knowing we were going to get the ‘W’ and we did.”
So far this season, that’s all the Lumberjacks have been getting. CEC is unbeaten in the opening five contests, sporting a 4-0-1 record, with four consecutive wins over Rosemount, Superior, Duluth Denfeld and now Eveleth-Gilbert.
In that run, they’ve outscored their opponents
“We’re moving the ball a lot and talking a lot,” said senior defenseman Zach Johnson. “This year, it seems like we’ve been working harder than other years.”
For most of them, it’s their senior year.
“We’ve been talking about this season for years,” said Weeks, one of 10 seniors on the team. “But it’s just one game at a time.”
CEC’s toughest test thus far was the season-opening 1-1 draw with defending Section 7A champ Proctor.
But with seventh state-ranked and unbeaten Hermantown waiting Thursday on the road at 5 p.m., Clark knows they’ll have to beat their arch rivals to really start turning some heads.
“That’s a real big game for us. We’re going to need everything we got,” he said. “This has been a little bit lighter part of our schedule. Now it gets tough. It’s always tough going there.”
At the moment, still unbeaten, Clark is keeping things simple.
“I want us to be confident, but not cocky,” he continued. “All of these guys can play. They have the skills to win. And we’re perfectly capable of beating [Hermantown].”
“We know they’re going to be good,” said Straub of the Hawks, remembering when they beat them last year in
“But we’re going to be better.”
Confident, but not cocky.