WINTHROP — Winthrop spread the ball around and built an early lead en route to a 4-2 victory over Mountain Valley in Mountain Valley Conference boys soccer action Thursday.

Four Ramblers scored a goal in the win.

“When I took over this program, I told the boys I want everybody to play every position,” Winthrop coach Jon Baehr said. “Obviously, there’s three or four kids that play one position, especially on the offensive end. Pretty much that front six is going to be interchangeable, and some of the guys will slide back and play defense. It’s one thing we did down here and we did up there, we had multiple guys score and involved in the offense.”

Earlier in the year, Winthrop defeated Mountain Valley 4-1 in its second game of the season on Sept. 5.

Winthrop’s Michael Morales, left and Mountain Valley’s Cameron Gallant battle for the ball during Thursday’s game in Winthrop.

The Ramblers went ahead 1-0 when a shot fired into the box hit the frame and ricocheted right to Noah Grube, who settled the ball down before putting it in the back of the net 15:43 into the first half.

Winthrop continued to ride the momentum, scoring again nearly five minutes later when Alex De Le Cruz worked his way into the box to beat Mountain Valley goalkeeper Kyle Kenney.

Baehr was pleased with the way his players started the game.

“The first 30 minutes we controlled (the game), then they controlled the next 25 to 30 minutes,” Baehr said. “With this group, obviously we need to get in shape a little bit more, but that will come with time. We possessed the game the first 30 minutes and I was very proud of the boys for the first 30, and the whole game actually.”

Mountain Valley started its push in the final 10 minutes of the first half when Will Sorensen got behind Winthrop’s back line to put the Falcons on the board with a goal with 9:33 remaining.

“He had been a midfielder earlier in the season,” Mountain Valley coach J.T. Taylor said. “I put him up front the last game because he’s one of my better finishers. We just need to give him the ball more often.”

The score remained 2-1 at halftime, but the two-goal lead was restored just past the 10-minute mark of the second half. Grube found Rowan Goebe-Bain in the box, and he made it 3-1 in favor of Winthrop.

For the Ramblers, crosses are important to find the open man.

“We wanted to move the ball around quickly and get to the end line (to) cross it, so we can get goals off of that,” Goebe-Bain said.

With time being of the essence, Mountain Valley pressured the Ramblers again. Garrett Garbini was left all alone with about 25 minutes to play, and he took a shot from the top of the box but it went right to Winthrop keeper Jake Smith. It was one of Smith’s seven saves on the afternoon.

The Ramblers almost gifted the Falcons a scoring chance later in the half. There was miscommunication between the defense and Smith, and a defender kicked the ball past Smith toward the Winthrop goal. Luckily for the Ramblers, there was no Falcon in sight.

“Those situations, when we have chances, it seems we are always late,” Taylor said. “That’s the difference in a lot of our games so far.”

Sorensen tallied his second goal of the match with 10:50 remaining to get Mountain Valley within one. Winthrop didn’t let the Falcons build on the momentum, though, as senior captain Jared McLaughlin capped off the scoring nearly three minutes later.

Kenney made six saves for Mountain Valley.

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