Janesville Craig’s boys soccer team was looking to get a test from one of the top Division 3 programs in the state.
Delavan-Darien, which is moving to a new sectional, was hoping to find a nonconference game or two to the west.
The two teams tangled Tuesday night, a pair of young squads still building early-season chemistry. The visiting Comets showed they are a little further in the process, scoring a pair of first-half goals less than a minute apart in a 3-0 victory.
Delavan-Darien improved to 4-0-1, while Craig fell to 2-2.
“We’ve done a really good job of playing together,” Comets coach Mike Marse said. “Now it’s just discipline—figure out what we should be doing and how to keep our emotions under control.
“But even though these guys are young, they’ve played well together.”
That was certainly the case in the first half at Craig. Delavan-Darien’s offense had been building throughout much of the first 20 minutes, including having a goal waved off by an offsides call.
The Comets finally broke through in the 26th and 27th minutes.
Sophomore Jonathan Diaz drove a hard shot from the top of the scoring box and into the upper left side of the net at 25:39. And 55 seconds later, the Comets snuck a cross through the Cougars defense.
The ball found the foot of senior Oscar Garcia, who calmly finished.
“Their three goals were solid goals; they were quality,” Craig coach Garrett McCabe said. “Our quality, on the ball, today let us down. We didn’t connect passes.
“And then defensively, we were a bit soft, inside the 18 (yard box) especially, and it resulted in three goals.”
Delavan-Darien’s speed gave Craig some trouble, especially in the first half.
The Cougars were not without their scoring chances, particularly on a couple free kicks that were just a foot or two wide and might have changed the complexion of the match.
“We kind of lack in our ability in (defending) those free kicks, because we’re not very tall,” Marse said. “We play a lot of Division 1 teams in nonconference (games), where they’re going to be taller or faster than us.
“But with our sectional moving over toward Madison, we tried to get some games over here. We wanted to find Division 1 teams that would play us, and Craig asked us.”
The Comets made it 3-0 less than 10 minutes out of the halftime break when senior forward Dieonte Orth, who assisted on both first-half goals, came through with a strike of his own off a pass from Diaz.
Hector Flores and Yovany Fonseco each made three saves to keep the clean sheet for Delavan-Darien. Ty Bienema made seven and Reed Kelly three for the Cougars.
“They (the Comets) are always good and always in the top 10 in their division,” McCabe said. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to see where we’re at.”
Craig plays in a tournament at Badger on Saturday. The Comets open Southern Lakes Conference play Thursday at Westosha.
DELAVAN-DARIEN 3, CRAIG 0
Delavan-Darien 2 1—3
Janesville Craig 0 0—0
DD—Jonathan Diaz (Dieonte Orth), 25:39. DD—Oscar Garcia (Orth), 26:34.
DD—Dieonte Orth (Diaz), 54:13.
Saves—Yovany Fonseca (DD) 3, Hector Flores (DD) 3, Ty Bienema (C) 7, Reed Kelly (C) 3.