TEUTOPOLIS — Teutopolis shrugged off an early 1-0 deficit and cruised to a 4-1 season-opening victory against the Taylorville Tornadoes.
Taylorville scored at the 4:19 mark on a goal by Zach Allen, just getting by the outstretched fingertips of Teutopolis goalkeeper Seth Belford and off the goalpost into the net.
But the Wooden Shoes answered just 37 seconds later. Drew Kowalski was able to keep control of the ball despite contact from a diving Brayden Thomas in goal, and had an empty net to shoot into to tie the game at 1-1.
The Shoes kept pushing, with Andy Mersman making three nice runs at the goal but missing just wide every time. Kyle Blievernicht had a chance with 13 minutes left, but a diving Thomas made the save.
Teutopolis broke the tie just a minute later when Blievernicht ran his man off the ball and had a two-on-one with Justin Deters against Thomas. Blievernicht struck a perfect cross toward the far post, leaving an easy goal for Deters.
"The best play all day long was when Kyle Blievernicht crossed it over to Justin Deters," said coach Dustin Jansen. "It's good to see things like that."
The execution kept up for Teutopolis as the game went on. Blievernicht had another great chance just before the end of the half on a corner kick by Deters, but Thomas made a nice save.
Less than four minutes into the second half, Deters took the ball downfield and floated a perfect cross over the defense to a wide-open Mitch Meinhart, who had a wide open net for an easy header and a 3-1 lead.
"If a play's set up right, the goal's the easiest part," Jansen said. "Mitch played his position perfect. Justin had such a beautiful cross, he made Mitch's job easy. Mitch's job was easy, also, because he knew what he was doing."