Road whitewash pushes soccer Hornets’ wins streak to seven

Blank Kirksville 2-0 Tuesday after 4-1 Monday home win

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
The shot delivered from about eight yards away by Chace Corbin (10), left, zips past the goalkeeper and into the net for the first tally of the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS soccer Hornets' 4-1 victory over Knob Noster Monday, Sept. 27. Corbin, who scored again later off Drake Cosgrove's corner kick, had the ball come to him after a scramble to control a low-trajectory corner kick from the right side by Ben Cueni-Smith.

On the heels of a tough 4-1 home win over Knob Noster Monday, Chillicothe High School’s soccer Hornets primed themselves for back-to-back very tough matches later in the week and early next week by blanking Kirksville 2-0 on KHS’ John Spainhower Field Tuesday.

The win was the seventh in a row for Chillicothe (9-3).

Seniors Chace Corbin and Drake Cosgrove again provided the Chillicothe goals, as they have most of the season. Through a dozen matches – about half of the season’s schedule, the duo has provided 86% of the team’s 43 total goals.

The Hornets were back at home Thursday for 5 p.m. play against Concordia: St. Paul Lutheran, which is ranked ninth in the state in Class 1 by the Missouri Soccer Coaches Association.

CHS then will have a week off from match action before visiting Kansas City: St. Pius X next Thursday.

Corbin’s 15th of the campaign came in Tuesday’s 12th minute, off a setup by senior Ben Cueni Smith. Cosgrove then got No. 22, seven away from Jon Kline’s single-season team record for a season, in the 56th minute, aided by Corbin, whose 14th assist is approaching the program’s single-season record.

Before, between, and after those tallies, the CHS defense stifled and thwarted Kirksville’s attempts at finding the net themselves. Beaten by the Hornets 2-1 at Moberly a couple of weeks back, the Tigers saw all of their modest six shots on net stopped by CHS senior goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson, who notched his second shutout of the season.

“Drake and Chace continue to play at a high level, with Ben chipping in an assist with a great pass to create our first goal.”

“A tip of the cap to our defense for earning the shutout,” CHS coach Tim Cunningham comments:

 “Nate King, Logan Distler, Tyler Stephens, and Josh Adams, as well as Jackson Reeter, Aidan Zimmerman, Wyatt Brandsgaard, and … Albertson all played a role in securing the clean sheet.“

On Monday, Corbin cracked home two goals off teammates’ corner kicks – one from Cueni Smith on the right side in the 26th minute in begin the scoring and the other a header from about 12 yards to the offensive right of the KNHS goal after Cosgrove’s long, high drive from the left corner. His header in the 65th minute bookended the scoring.

In between, Knob Noster’s Javier Talavera knotted the score in the third minute of the second half, only to see Hornets junior reserve Jackson Reeter’s speed and hustle create the match-winning in the 53rd minute.

Cosgrove netted No. 21 in easy fashion in the 62nd minute after a great steal from the Knob Noster right outside back by sophomore Jadon Collins and perfectly-placed centering pass. It was Collins’ first scoring point of the season.

On J. Reeter’s tiebreaker, Chillicothe had control of the ball about 45 yards from the KNHS net. From there, defensive midfielder Cueni Smith drove the ball high over the Panthers’ backfield toward the top of the Knob Noster penalty area.

Gambling aggressively, goalkeeper Caleb Jones charged out, hoping to grab it on the slide just inside “the 18.” Simultaneously, J. Reeter angled in from the offensive right side, hoping to get to the ball before it reached Jones.

He did, deflecting the ball slowly past the netminder toward the vacated net, where he easily ran onto it and nudged it in for his first varsity goal at 52:45 of the match. For his pass, Cueni Smith gained his second assist of the match and season.

Observed Cunningham, “Solid team effort from back to front. Our backs played as a unit and our diversified attack gave us several scoring opportunities. Our midfield transitioned well from attack to defense, which helped us to maintain possession.”