Stephen Treat Hat Trick Pushes Cleveland Past David Douglas


Clarion photo Anna Suydam

Steven Treat Senior

After a slow start to their non-league schedule, the Cleveland boys soccer team found new success against David Douglas on Sept. 16.

Coach Nick Yoder made several adjustments for this matchup, which heavily paid off to the tune of a 4-1 victory.

One notable adjustment was adding a fourth defender to their formation, which had its benefits on both sides of the ball.

“I think it gives our defense a little bit more cover, and I think we moved the ball pretty well, all things considered,” Yoder said.

The more critical adjustment was the inclusion of Stephen Treat in the starting lineup. Treat has played solid minutes over the first four matches of the season, but this was his first start, and he worked hard for these goals.

Treat’s first two goals came early, with a neatly placed bouncing header into the bottom left corner of the net off a free kick from Seb Buscaglia in the 26th minute, and a quick shot off a cross in the box in the 24th.

The wait for goal number three was excruciating, and Treat deserved massive credit for not getting greedy with the ball, making some beautiful passes closing in on the David Douglas net.

Finally, with 4:06 to play in the second half, Treat scored the well earned third goal, not only earned through his play since minute 24 of the first, but on this chance that he created himself.

At 4:14 Treat saved a ball from going out of bounds with a couple impressive touches. After a quick passing succession from Treat along the sideline, to Ian Lama at the top of the box, to Elijah Edelman a couple yards behind him, Treat followed the chance he created and blasted a rebound practically straight through the standing keeper.

Coach Yoder shared the excitement of Stephen, his teammates, and the crowd, when speaking about the hat trick the next day.

“I loved it,” he said. “He’s just such a hard worker, and great talent as well, you love to see him rewarded like that.”

Treat’s work ethic was evident on all three goals, putting himself in positions to score off a set piece, a fast moving play, and especially on a rebound far from where he started the scoring chance.

Cleveland’s lone non Stephen Treat goal was scored at the 13:29 mark of the second half by senior midfielder Leo Brown, who Yoder noted as another key performer.

“Leo is kind of a first off the bench in the midfield, which is super important in the formations we run,” said Yoder. He went on to say, “He just had a terrific game, dictating play with good touches and good passes, he really stepped up last night.”

In general Cleveland’s ball movement through the midfield was impressive, with players all across the formation pitching in to push the ball towards David Douglas’ goal. Whenever David Douglas did manage a nice tackle or deflection, it seemed like the ball was still moving towards their net. The Warriors possession advantage, especially in the first half, was overwhelming.

Credit to David Douglas for making their one goal very entertaining, with number 10 Elijah Lute scoring from 35 yards out at 36:17 of the second half.

That goal marked the beginning of a chaotic stretch of the match, with seven yellow cards between the teams in the second half alone.

The peak of this came at 27:45, when three David Douglas players were simultaneously shown a yellow, presumably for poor sportsmanship as none were involved in the play at the time.

Yoder touched on his approach to that situation, saying, “when it happens you just have to be a little more reserved with their time to avoid them getting a second and sitting for a match.”

This also played into the importance of Stephen Treat’s third goal, “I was glad we could get another insurance goal there and alleviate a little bit of that pressure,” said Yoder.

Cleveland proved a lot in this game, but a big takeaway for Yoder as they look ahead to their remaining non-league schedule was the ball movement.

“They’re gonna be possession oriented teams just like we are, and it’s getting us ready for the league and hopefully the postseason,” he said.

This was a huge win for the Warriors, and they may have found a winning formula for the matchups ahead.