Fairfield soccer eliminates Keokuk to advance
Felisto Guezimane is well aware of the history between Fairfield and Keokuk on the pitch. He’s also familiar with the old saying, “It’s hard to beat a team three times in one season.”
So, after defeating Keokuk twice in the regular season, the fourth-year head coach wasn’t about to take any chances going into Monday’s substate first-round game vs. the Chiefs at Trojan Stadium.
Neither, it appeared, were his players.
The Trojan boys’ soccer team scored five straight goals over a 20-minute span in the first half Monday and held firm in the second half for a 5-0 shutout win over the rival Chiefs. Coming into the game, Keokuk had eliminated Fairfield from the postseason three of the previous four seasons.
“We were very confident this year. The team came in early and stayed in the gym for just about an hour and a half just getting ready to play the game,” said Guezimane.
Freshman Solomon Constant made the first two goals for Fairfield (12-5), and senior teammate Roan Bachar scored three more before the half.
“Our game plan was to start the game strong and finish the game as early as possible, so not to give any chances or confidence to the other team,” Guezimane said.
The Trojan boys certainly did just that. After playing the first 20 minutes scoreless, Constant scored the game’s first goal off an assist from Bachar. Then, 10 minutes later, Constant once again turned a nice pass from Bachar into a Trojan goal.
The first-half floodgates stayed open as Bachar tallied three straight goals in a five-minute span starting at the 33nd minute and ending at the 38th.
“We just had some great shots there. The last four or five games we’ve pretty much been scoring at will, which is pretty good considering the way we started the season,” Guezimane added.
Senior Nathan Barker said the win was a testament to his teammates’ ability to work together.
“We just keep playing with a whole team effort, and that’s how we win the games. Everybody plays well,” said Barker. “Everybody is doing their part.”
With the win, the Trojans advance to play another conference rival, Mount Pleasant, in the semifinal round Wednesday at Mount Pleasant. The winner of that game will advance to Saturday’s substate final in Solon.
The Trojans have yet to lose at Mount Pleasant in Barker’s four years, and the senior said he expects his team to keep it that way.
“I think we’re hitting our stride and we like playing on their field. We play well there for some reason, and hopefully we can use [today’s win] as momentum.”