Glotz, Larson show the way for Eisenhower
James Larson had a hand in each of Eisenhower’s four goals on Tuesday afternoon, as the host Knights improved to 5-2 on the year with a 4-1 win over visiting District 10 Region 4 opponent Franklin (3-4).
In the fourth minute of play, Austin Hannold would find an opening on the right side of the pitch, where he sent a crossing ball to a waiting Larson for a quick finish past goaltender Reston Weismann to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
After finding the back of the net on that play, Larson would spend the rest of the evening setting up the heavy-footed Darren Glotz, who would pick up three consecutive goals.
“We’re dealing with some injuries, so we were a little slow getting started and trying to give the guys rest at the right time, that kind of thing,” Eisenhower coach Todd Venman said.
He added: “We were a little slow getting rolling, but after we got into the groove of things we were definitely picking it up as far as the scoring was concerned.”
While Larson and Glotz led the way on offense, Eisenhower goaltender Gavin Labowski would put in a dominant 17-save effort in the face of good offensive pressure by Franklin.
The visitors would pick up their only goal of the day at 19:26 of the first half, when Nate Pfenningwerth was tackled inside the box by defender Alex Turbide.
Gage Haniwalt would make the most of his chance on the penalty shot, beating Labowski high right side, but would be sidelined for much of the second half after sustaining an injury to hamper the Panther offense.
Eisenhower would earn the bulk of the offensive chances in the first half of play, with Glotz peppering shots on Weismann early before giving the Knights the lead with 5:27 remaining in the first period.
Larson would feed Glotz with a short ball on that opportunity, with the senior burying that chance high for a 2-1 lead.
“He’s done a lot in the offseason to prepare and has really been able to dial it in,” Venman said of Glotz’s shooting. “He has got power off his shot. Pound for pound, ounce for ounce, the kid can hit it hard. He just has power. I don’t know how he comes up with the power he comes up with given his size.”
Labowski would show his talents early in the second half, grabbing a long cross by Reece Henderson and turning away a hard-angle shot from Connor Nightingale to maintain the Knights’ lead.
Henderson would add a pair of chances after that, firing one shot wide and lifting a head ball right into the hands of Labowski on another opportunity.
“He is just aggressive,” Venman said of his goaltender, “so he is getting that save that potentially other goalies aren’t getting because he is quick and he’s got a little sass. That is to our advantage.”
With 10 minutes remaining, Glotz would put his power on display once again with a booming finish from long range to make it 3-1, once again taking advantage of a Larson pass.
For his third and final goal of the night, the senior would lift a long try on net that was mishandled by Weismann.
“The middle of the pack seems pretty tight,” said Venman of his regional opponents. “Warren seems to be running away with things. Everyone else seems to be right there in the middle of the pack. You have a bad day you’re going to lose. It is just that tight. Seeing Franklin for the first time, following their scores and what have you, we knew they would be one of those tight middle-of-the-pack teams.”