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Vandals offense heats up in win

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By Seth Whitehead

Scoring isn't everything.

But - as evidenced by the smile on Brett Ambuehl's face following the Vandalia soccer team's 4-2 victory over Centralia Lutheran Tuesday - it sure is a lot of fun.

"It feels awesome," said Ambuehl after the Vandals ended a long scoring drought dating back to last season, "We haven't scored in a long time."

Ambuehl put two of Vandalia's goals in the back of the net, booking the latter on a sweet header set up by teammate Lucas McDowell on an inbounds pass from the corner.

"Lucas set that one up perfect," Ambuehl said.

Quinn Phillips gave Vandalia a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish with a header of his own on a nearly identical pass by Cody Philpot moments earlier, and goaltender Quentin Austin preserved the lead with a diving save just before halftime.

Austin finished with eight saves in the first half before switching places with Philpot in the second half.

The duo showed off its versatility in the final 45 minutes, as Austin squeaked an important insurance goal past Centralia Lutheran's goalie, and Philpot made the Vandals' lead stand up with five saves.

Vandals coach Diego Gamino credited his team's improved ball control for the victory.

"If you can control the ball and are in the right place, you can score any time," Gamino said. "That's something we're working on.

Ambuehl agreed.

"We're a lot better (offensively) because we've worked a lot harder on that," he said.