It's now been 1,050 days since our last loss in Barron. A now-defunct club from Barron started and folded within that time. A global pandemic has come and continues to linger. In fact, because of that pandemic, we played all but two of our home games in 2020 in Barron - and we won every single one.
We've been struggling as of late to create and score from open play. That's why it's hilarious that our first goal of the season was an own goal. In the 9th minute, Gage Espanet unleashed what could've been a shot or a cross. It deflected off the marking defender, wrongfooted the GK and nestled into the corner of the net. Instant impact from the debutant.
Just two minutes later, it was Espanet again with a marauding run down the wing. He cut inside, drew out the GK, and squared a pass to Dylan Burk for the 2-0 and what will be the easiest goal of his playing career.
Alan Martinez, last season's WPASL Defensive Player of the Season, got in on the action with an impressive solo goal in the 31st minute. In typical Martinez fashion, he received the ball deep and absolutely booked it. He beat several defenders on his jaunt and placed a simple finish in at the far post for the 3-0.
Barron would get one back just before halftime. A shot from distance short-hopped and was spilled just out of reach by Jon Mullally resulting in a simple tap-in. Mullally was otherwise commanding and impenetrable in his first ever Bateaux start, a good sign of things to come. In Jon we trust!
David Ripplinger iced the game with a goal in the 61st minute. A counter-attack opened up with Espanet receiving a ball into his stride out left. Ripp made an excellent run and Espy found him with an equally as excellent through ball that split Barron's three defenders. Ripp won his 1v1 with the GK and finished low and away.
The second half was a bit tamer in the goals department but not so much with the discipline. Three yellow cards were shown to Bateaux players (Ripplinger, Dalton Hoepner, and Liam Schwartz). Barron had several themselves for everything from dissent to hard fouls to uniform violations.
Our lads closed the game out while maintaining possession to kill the clock. 4-1 means we're off the blocks in a good way. Not to be buried under all the other positives, Coach Nick Noskowiak, newly appointed as Head Coach in the last couple weeks, earned his first win in the new role.
We're back at Bollinger Fields in Eau Claire next week Sunday (4 PM CST kickoff) as we take on Lobos FC.
Bateaux: OG - 9', Burk (Espanet) - 11', Martinez - 31', Ripplinger (Espanet) - 61'
Bateaux (3): Hoepner, Ripplinger, Schwartz Barron (4): no names listed
STARTING XI: Mullally; Walters (C), Klusendorf, Lopez, Martinez; Hoepner, Burk, Mena; Ripplinger, Nunn, Espanet
SUBS: Brotzman, Hunt, Goodrie, Kreutzfeldt, Nelson, Schwartz, Van Nelson, Xiong