Fast start pays off for Falcons in win over Spartans

Sep. 1—CONNEAUT — The Jefferson boys soccer team got off to a quick start in a 3-0 win over Conneaut on Thursday at the SPARC Garcia Soccer Field.

The Falcons scored three goals early in the first half and kept the Spartans scoreless to record the county win.

"We've been just working with formations," Jefferson coach Jim Valtman said.

The Falcons, who are now 3-2-1, have been coming from behind, but on Thursday, got off to a quick start for the first time.

Valtman said playing in the Northeast 8 was a benefit for the Falcons to grow as a team.

"I think it helps us," he said of his squad that has moved into the Chagrin Valley Conference for the 2023 season. "Jack Furman scored two goals and Justin Agnew scored the other."

The Falcons are in the CVC Valley Division with Berkshire, Cardinal, Crestwood, Grand Valley and Kirtland. The Spartans are competing in the CVC Lake Division with Madison, Geneva, Lakeside, Perry and Edgewood.

Valtman said junior goalie Reagan Williams also had a good game, stopping 16 shots.

"He is brand new," he said.

Valtman said his squad lost seven seniors from his 2023 squad.

He added the team conditioned during the summer and also went to a soccer camp at the University of Edinboro.

Valtman said he has

17 players and hopes to get some junior varsity contests later in the season.

"I am going to have four JV games," he said.

The Spartans had to work really hard just

to have a squad this year, said Jim Campbell, who took over the team this year after serving as an assistant coach last year. He was head coach at Conneaut more than a decade ago.

Campbell said he scoured the halls of

the middle school

late last school year looking for prospective players that weren't competing in fall sports, and his assistant did the same thing at the high school.

The Spartans have 14 players on the roster with only one senior on the team.

Campbell said the team is playing really hard, but needs to start playing from the first moment of the game.

He said they have come out slow in each of their games and played better as the game goes on.

Both teams are scheduled to play home games on Tuesday.

Jefferson will

battle Kirtland, while Conneaut goes against Edgewood.