Boys' soccer team 0-2 but close to first win, coach says

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By Tommie Kendall

After starting last Mondays soccer game a little flat, the Henry County Wildcats turned the tables to come out aggressive in the second half which helped them play more even with host Spencer County and close the gap on the scoreboard. But in the end, after 80 hard-fought minutes, the Wildcats came up short, 5-3.

For the Wildcats, a first-year team trying to build a program from scratch, they have started the season at 0-2 with their opening loss to Waggener the week before. Henry played much better the second time out, especially in its second-half turnaround.

If there was just a little more time on the clock, we probably would have caught them, Henrys coach, Jay Dunavin, said afterwards. Overall, it was an improvement from our first game. We controlled the ball a lot better. I think were really close to getting that first win; its just a matter of time.

Henrys flat start allowed Spencer to score two quick goals, which put the Wildcats in an early deficit. Henry managed to get on the scoreboard when junior Jarrod Singleton scored on a penalty kick after he was fouled in the box. By halftime, though, Spencer had scored two more goals to take a 4-1 lead into the break.

Henry made the halftime adjustments, and came out a different team for the final 40 minutes of play.

We talked to our guys about getting more physical, holding their ground, Dunavin said. I was very, very pleased with how physical we got in that second half, and how much we got into the game. Our players definitely stepped up to the challenge.

Henry outscored Spencer in the second half, 2-1, but came away with the two-goal loss. Singleton and senior Zach Stamper both kicked the ball to the back of the net to close the gap. For Stamper, a defensive specialist who never played organized soccer before this year, it was his first-ever goal. He beat out Spencers defenders to get in a one-against-one breakway against the keeper, which he won.

Hes usually my defender wonder boy out there, Dunavin said. I wanted to give him a chance to move up front, and he took advantage of it.

Meanwhile, Spencer scored its lone goal in the second half off on a penalty kick. Spencer is starting its second season with a varsity soccer team and improved to 2-3 with the Henry win.

Even though we had a smaller bench than them, I thought our guys were more physical, Dunavin said of his history-setting group of players. The Spencer players were panting for air. We gave ourselves plenty of opportunities, and I thought we did very well.

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