DIXON – After 40 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Dukes broke through in the second half, notching four goals in 5 minutes in a 5-1 win over Oregon.
Tied 1-1 with nearly an hour of the game gone, Dixon’s Noah Grot put the Dukes ahead with a penalty kick. Boston Glessner added another goal moments later, then Adrian Rodriguez made it 4-1 in the 64th minute, and Kade Fulton tacked on the final goal in the 65th.
“In the second half, we started to play a lot more patient,” Glessner said. “We passed the ball more in the middle of the field, looked for the through balls down the line, and played low balls across the box.”
Glessner’s goal came off a turnover, as he stepped in front of an Oregon pass near midfield and wound his way through the defense before striking it home.
“I was ready to pass it to someone, but I saw a split in defenders and took it,” he said. “I played it down there and tapped it in.”
The Rodriguez goal in the 64th came off a rebound after Oregon goalkeeper Owen Ketter had denied Fulton.
“The ball just popped into my space and I just calmly touched it in,” Rodriguez said.
Dixon made the most of its set pieces, with Rodriguez getting the Dukes on the board in the 41st minute from a corner, curling his corner kick straight into the net, and the penalty was awarded after some pushing a shoving in the box on a free kick.
“Part of it was taking a little bit off of it and not being so anxious to take shots on the set pieces,” Dixon coach Josh Brigl said. “We do have set plays for our corners and [free kicks]. Their goaltender was a little hesitant to come off the line, so instead of putting a ball on frame, he pulled him in and said it’s a finesse ball, it’s not something you need to kill.”
Moments after the Dukes broke through, the Hawks scored an equalizer. Josh Sitze had his shot stopped by Dixon goalkeeper Ryan Pitzer, but Brigham Finch was there to tap in the rebound in the 46th minute.
Oregon even had chances to take the lead. Jonathan Acosta sailed a shot over the crossbar in the 48th minute. In the 55th minute, Pitzer had to leap to push a shot from Sitze off the crossbar, then leapt on the ball before Jayden Davis could get a good look at tapping in the rebound.
But the goals started to come for Dixon, and the Hawks could not recover.
“Guys didn’t get calls and then they let it get to their head, and then they complained about the call instead of playing the game,” Oregon coach Seger Larson said.
Dixon (3-4, 2-2 Big Northern) had an edge in possession in the first half, but never got a goal out of it. The Hawks defense shut down a chance in the fifth minute for James Duet. Ketter stepped in front of a cross bound for Fulton in the seventh minute, then made a save to deny Fulton in the eighth. Duet and Fulton played a nice give-and-go up the left side in the 21st minute, only to have Oregon right back Tyler Vegliando come up with the stop before the Dukes could get a shot off.
“We just had to hit feet with our passes,” Brigl said. “We weren’t playing simple. We’re making one, two, three passes in a row that were good enough, and then we’re looking for a bigger, more direct ball. You’ve got to work the ball up the field. The last 25 minutes were a lot better.”
Oregon (1-7-1, 0-3 BNC) had a handful of chances in the first half. Sitze was wide with a shot in the 11th minute, and missed with a header in the 20th. Liam Dickson-Harriett took a ball into the corner in the 26th minute, but three Dukes were there to stop him.
“They tried harder than they have all year, and they played tougher than they have all year,” Larson said. “They matched the toughness that Dixon was playing them.”
But after the scoreless first half and a goal each in the early moments of the second half, the floodgates opened for the Dukes.
Dixon outshot Oregon 29-9, with a 17-4 edge in shots on goal, and a 6-1 edge in corner kicks, with Oregon’s lone chance from the corner coming in the final seconds of the game.
Dixon 5, Oregon 1
Star of the game: Adrian Rodriguez, Dixon, 2 goals
Key performers: Boston Glessner, Dixon, 1 goal; Kade Fulton, Dixon, 1 goal; Noah Grot, Dixon, 1 goal; Brigham Finch, Oregon, 1 goal; Owen Ketter, Oregon, 12 saves
Up next: Dixon at North Boone; Winnebago at Oregon, both 4:30 p.m. Thursday