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New Life Academy boys soccer: Eagles keep up offense but need more defense

New Life Academy Boys Soccer

With eight goals in their first two games, the New Life Academy Eagles aren't lacking for offense.

The defense, on the other hand, is definitely a work in progress. While scoring eight, the Eagles boys soccer team has allowed six goals in two games.

New Life and visiting Nova Classical Academy fought to a 3-3 tie in overtime Friday in a match at Bielenberg Sports Center.

Coupled with a 5-4 win last Thursday in the opener, it gave the Eagles a 1-0-1 mark for the first week of the season.

"Defensively we just can't give up three goals," Eagles head coach Robb Rupp said. "We scored five yesterday and three today, but then we gave up seven in the last two days, too. That's not going to work. We have to clean up our defense a bit more and be disciplined in our positioning, pressing the ball when we need to, our outside mids need to get back. We need to defend as a team and not let our back line do all the work."

Nova took a 2-1 lead at halftime. Nate Mueller scored New Life's lone goal in the first 40 minutes.

The Eagles then powered in back-to-back goals by Henry George and Charlie Tourek within a minute of each other in the second half to take a 3-2 lead. But just like the Eagles did, Nova got the equalizer quickly to tie the game at 3-all with about 10 minutes remaining.

Neither team could find the back of the net in the final 10 minutes of regulation, or in overtime, although the Eagles had several good scoring chances.

"When we got possession, we used the possession well," Rupp said. "We got it out wide, we got into our positions and we played well.

"I think what hurt us is that we started trying to play direct, where we just knock the ball over the top and try and get something that way and that really didn't work for us. But when we slowed it down and played more of a possession game, that really worked."

Evan Atkinson and Johnny Lassen had assists for New Life.

New Life continued its season-opening tour of St. Paul schools, hosting Humboldt/Open Word Learning Tuesday and St. Paul Highland Park on Wednesday.

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