A stagnant offense Tuesday night left Janesville Craig’s boys soccer team on the wrong end of a shutout.
Two nights later, the Cougars were on the move.
They found their timing, connecting on a variety of through balls and getting four goals from senior captain Gabe Rubine in an 11-1 Big Eight Conference home victory over Janesville Parker.
Craig improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Eight. Parker fell to 1-6 and 0-2.
“Our last game we had zero movement off the ball ... so that was what we worked on, continuous activity off the ball to create opportunities and seams,” Craig coach Garrett McCabe. “They kind of figured it out today.”
It took the Cougars about 20 minutes to find their rhythm.
Rubine put Craig on the board in the 11th minute, but Parker’s David Zavala tied it up a little more than three minutes later, blasting home a rebound off a free kick that was initially blocked by the Cougars’ wall.
Zavala, a sophomore, has scored five of Parker’s six goals this season.
Craig took the lead for good when Rubine dribbled in and patiently picked his spot for his second goal at 19:35. And senior Ivan Pacheco followed with a shot from the top of the 18-yard box just 28 seconds later.
Rubine finished off his hat trick less than five minutes before halftime, where Craig led 4-1.
“We just wanted to let it (the frustration from Tuesday) all out today and give it all we had,” said Rubine, who has nine goals on the season. “We were practicing yesterday moving throughout the midfield. Coach just told us to do that during games and we’ll find each other. Obviously we did.”
The Cougars scored three goals in the first seven minutes of the second half to pull away.
Six different players scored at least one goal, including senior Len Lorenz and freshman Cole Vesely, who each had a pair in the second half. Andrew Torres had a pair of assists, Pacheco added an assist of his own and Rodrigo Villanueva’s goal at 74:35 ended the match due to the mercy rule.
“Gabe and Andrew Torres are probably two of the fastest guys in the Big Eight, but the straightforward run isn’t going to always work. It’s about the timing and criss-crossing,” McCabe said. “And we had some young guys that needed to get some opportunities to get their legs under them, and they did well.”
Craig opens play at the Prairie School quad Friday night. Parker plays at Stoughton on Saturday.
CRAIG 11, PARKER 1
Janesville Parker 1 0—1
Janesville Craig 4 7—11
C—Gabe Rubine (Micah Overley), 10:16. P—David Zavala, 13:25. C—Rubine, 19:35. C—Ivan Pacheco, 20:03. C—Rubine (Andrew Torres), 40:06.
C—Len Lorenz (Rodrigo Villanueva), 46:49. C—Rubine (Jason Rios), 48:45. C—Len Lorenz (Pacheco), 51:43. C—Melvin Garcia-Barranco (Torres), 57:06. C—Cole Vesely, 63:48. C—Vesely, 71:00. C—Rodrigo Villanueva, 74:35.
Saves—Jake Naber (JP) 10, Brad Warda (JP) 2.