MT. VERNON —
Mac Jones powered the Rams soccer offense with a hat trick in a 4-0 win Wednesday against Effingham.
Jones struck about seven minutes into the game and added another midway through the first half. He finished off the hat trick 10 minutes into the second half of action. Joseph McDanel also hit the back of the net for the Rams.
Jones took advantage of some solid passing from his teammates. McDanel, Anthony Reitz and Dalton McGowen provided his with assists on his goals.
“We've been looking for chemistry from the first day of tryouts,” Mt. Vernon coach Jim Duncan said. “We've always had some questions, and the questions were definitely answered today. We finally came together. I think if we can continue to play like this with all the pieces we put in play, we'll be fine.”
Throughout the game, the Rams were able to control the midfield and build its attack.
“When (the midfielders) try to do too much, they get out of position and it leaves our back line hanging and it does give a lot of room in the midfield area to set up,” Effingham coach Aaron Witges said. “They scored all their balls on through balls. They got all their opportunities off nice hard, low through balls.”
Mt. Vernon's defense limited the Effingham offense throughout the game. The Rams didn't allow a shot on goal from the Flaming Hearts in the opening half. Effingham's best moments came in the second half when the Flaming Hearts were able to force Mt. Vernon goalie J.J. Wiegel into three saves.
“Overall it wasn't bad,” Effingham coach Aaron Witges said. “We got in the box a few times, but when we got in their back line really stepped up and stuck us in our tracks.”
With 33:45 left in the opening half, Jones settled the ball inside the penalty area, turned and fired a shot past Effingham goalie Frank Kasdorf. About 10 minutes later, Reitz knocked a header from a goal kick his way. He took the pass and scored.
Ten minutes into the second half, McDanel finished a flurry in front of the Effingham net that Isiah Meyer started with a rebound goal.
McGowen facilitated Jones' final goal when he found the striker streaking down the left side. McGowen's pass settled in front of Jones. His shot again found its way past Kasdorf. The Effingham goalie finished with six saves.
Mt. Vernon is 4-3 this season and hosts Mt. Carmel today.