DEERFIELD — Both goals by Zach Huffman were products of the possession the Cambridge/Deerfield soccer team prides itself on.
The goal by Adam Staszak was a long-range missile from around 50 yards out near the sideline wasn’t a steady game of possession, instead it was a game-winner produced by creativity and aggression.
Whatever it was, the goal in the 68rd minute gave Cambridge/Deerfield a lead before Huffman’s second goal finished off a 4-2 victory against Whitewater in non-conference soccer on Monday night at Deerfield High School.
“Our guys, we’ve been a team that’s really good at possessing,” Cambridge/Deerfield coach Kyle Hornickel said. “We’ve always said they play a heck of a keep away game. Our first couple of games, we didn’t quite have the possession down. But today, we had the possession.
“So then we started talking about, ‘We need to shoot more.’ I told them, ‘If I’m not telling you to shoot less, we’re not shooting enough.’”
Staczak took that to heart as he raced a Whitewater defender to a ball along the sideline and, without over handling the ball, he launched it just over the hand of Sergio Zuniga, who wasn’t out of position as much as the ball was perfectly placed just beneath the cross bar.
“I think it was just a good shot,” Whitewater coach John Chenoweth said. “If the keeper is further back, maybe he gets it. If he’s farther up, he misses it by even more. It was just a perfect shot. ...
“That’s tough. I think we’re pretty frustrated with the way it ended, but it was a battle throughout.”
Whitewater battled the game to a tie twice. Senior David Kromholz scored in the 35th minute after the initial cross on the corner was kicked around. Senior Cristian Reyes scored in the 54th minute to tie the game at 2.
“In general, we’ve been pretty good with our corners,” Chenoweth said. “We just haven’t been able to put them in. Tonight, we looked pretty good on the attack, but we need to work on defending them.”
Cambridge/Deerfield controlled most of the possession throughout the game. Whitewater was unable to sustain a consistent attack.
“When you have Zach in the middle, he can control the game really well,” Hornickel said. “You have him in the middle, and he’s so aggressive, but then you add Ayden Moynihan in there, they see the field so well and Adam Staczak. Really, the whole team reads each other really well.
“We talk a lot about being gentle with their give and gos because they try to go so fast to catch the defenses. I think they really did a good job working with each other tonight.”
The Whippets had multiple opportunities in the latter portion of the first half to start counter attacks, but those disappeared for the most part in the second half. Part of that was a result of Cambridge/Deerfield understanding how to attack Whitewater’s packed-in defense.
“I told the guys to keep spreading the field out because when you play on a football field inside of a track, there isn’t a lot of room,” Hornickel said. “Their defense clumped a little bit, so we wanted to push things out more.
“We had a good talk at half and I think we came out and started to get our groove of playing together well.”
Cambridge/Deerfield returns to action at Lodi on Tuesday for Capitol Conference game at 6:45 p.m.
Whitewater gets back to the pitch against Lake Mills at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
CAMBRIDGE/DEERFIELD 4, WHITEWATER 2
Whippets 1 1 — 2
United 1 3 — 4
First half — CD Huffman 22’; W Kromholz 35’.
Second half — CD Nehring 49’; W Reyes 54’; CD Staszak 68’; CD Huffman.