Marmion coach Ricky Del Toro admitted he didn’t know what to expect from opponents in the Cadets’ first year in the Catholic League.
After Monday’s conference-opening 4-1 victory over Mount Carmel, he still isn’t too sure what to expect, but he definitely knows what the Cadets can do to ease his worries.
“We definitely need to relax a little because if we continue hurrying our first touches, every game is going to be a dogfight,” Del Toro said. “We may not know a lot about these teams, but they don’t know much about us either. We had spurts were our composure made the game easier.”
The Cadets (4-5-0, 1-0) got off to a good start with a goal just 8:05 into the game as Tim Wheeler’s cross led to a Landon Meyer seven-yarder that eluded Caravan goalkeeper Emilio Raby-Newsom.
“We work on a number of set pieces every practice and that one worked perfectly,” Wheeler said of his third assist. “Any time I can find Landen you can count on him to finish.”
“Tim’s pass was right on the spot and with the keeper rushing near post, I just went to the back post,” Meyer said in regard to his third goal. “Winning conference games are never easy and it’s a plus to beat a strong team like them.”
Mount Carmel (3-5-0, 0-1) withstood a number of Marmion shots and capitalized on a counterattack as Michae Baldridge’s through-ball pass led to a breakaway, with Jaylen Anderson slipping it past Cadet goalkeeper Matt Fletcher with 8:52 left before halftime.
Marmion got a virtual gift 5:21 into the second half when Trevor Jones got his first goal of the season on a six-yard empty-netter.
“I was hoping for a back pass from the wing, instead their defender hit it off their goalie and the ricochet was right there for me to touch it home,” Jones admitted.
It was the senior’s second game back from a knee injury, and more important to Del Toro than the goal was Jones’ play.
“He was the one player not in a rush and no matter where he was on the field, his touches, passes, decisions were solid,” Del Toro said.
Although the Cadets enjoyed a 26-9 edge in overall attempts and a 10-6 edge in shots on goal, the Caravan tried to produce an equalizer only to have shots sail high or get stopped.
With 4:07 left, Quinn Gratz set up Gavin Sanchez for his sixth goal, coming on a nine-yard left-footed blast. Nick Grant stayed even with Sanchez in goal scoring as his sixth goal, a far-right side 19-yarder, sailed just inside the far-left post.