ZACH NICHOLS

Sophomore Zach Nichols tries to maintain control of the ball while being hounded by an Evansville defender in the Thursday Sept. 19 Rock Valley Conference match at McFarland. Nichols had two assists in the Spartans' 3-0 win over the Blue Devils.

It was difficult getting shots past Evansville's talented goaltender Mason Huff in the Thursday Sept. 19 Rock Valley Conference boys soccer game at McFarland. Huff made a number of key saves and deflections to keep the ball out of the net. But eventually, he ran out of luck as the Spartans put three goals past him in the second half and defeated the Blue Devils 3-0. Jake Sampson broke the scoreless tie in the 50th minute with a header off a corner kick. McFarland kept its one goal lead until the 75th minute when senior Erik Pagenkopf, a former captain on the Spartans' junior varsity squad, found the back of the net with a header to increase the lead to 2-0. Pagenkopf added another goal on a hot rolling shot past Huff from 40 yards out with two minutes left in regulation. Senior Zach Nichols had two assists for the Spartans and his brother Ethan Nichols also had a helper. The win improves McFarland's record to 3-1-3 overall while Evansville suffered its first loss and dropped to 4-1-4.

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