Five games in six days took its toll on the Henry County boys’ soccer team.
After a day of rest on Sunday the Cats came home to play Spencer County. The Bears scored their first goal at the 33:45 mark from about five yards out. Spencer continued to attack and added two more quick goals and led 3-0 with 29:10 remaining in the first half.
The Cats started getting into the game and had more possession after the third goal. Gavin Jameson had a good opportunity from 18 yards out that went off the crossbar at 23:30.
Spencer regained momentum when they scored on an “own-goal” by the Wildcats with 19:00 left in the half.
The weary Cats continued to fight and were awarded a penalty kick when Jameson was taken down in the penalty box. Jacob Buckley scored from the penalty spot at the 6:05 mark, putting the Cats on the board 4-1.
The Bears added one more goal 30 seconds before halftime on a close-range shot after a breakaway by the striker.
In the second half the Cats defense stiffened in the first 20 minutes but then lost their legs as the fifth game in six days took its toll. Spencer added a goal at the 20-minute mark and then three more in the last six minutes to take the 8-goal victory.
“In the second half we played better defense until we got tired,” Coach Bobby Jameson said. “Offensively, we are starting to see some good things. We have a good idea of our offensive and defensive rotations now.
“After five games in six days our legs and bodies just got tired. We hit a brick wall with about 20 minutes to go.”
The soccer Cats traveled to Carrollton Saturday, Sept. 8, to play in the Two Rivers Invitational Tournament. In their opening game the Cats lost to Holmes 8-3. In the consolation game the weary legged Cats fell to Evangel 6-2.
After the Cats played Holmes, they had less than 30 minutes before taking on Evangel Christian. The Cats hung tough but faded in the end. Jacob Buckley scored 2 goals in the game. Goalkeeper Coleton Aneszko was named to the all-tournament team.
“We were better defensively,” Jameson said. “They had a couple of goals that were pure luck. We got fatigued with about nine or 10 minutes left. We were fortunate to have Coleton on the all-tourney team. “
In the tournament opener for the Cats, Holmes had the better play in the early going but two nice saves by goalkeeper Aneszko kept the Cats in the game.
Henry County had their first chance at the 8:00 mark when they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box. Jesus Ramos’ attempt sailed just over the crossbar.
One minute later, Holmes opened the scoring from the left-front of goal off a cross from the right wing.
Holmes dominated possession and were aggressive in closing down the Cats when Henry had possession. They made it 2-0 on a chip shot at 11:30 from a corner kick.
The Cats got more possession at this point and won a couple of corner kicks but could not capitalize on them. At 17:11, Gavin Jameson out-raced the Holmes defense for a long ball over the top and scored from 18 yards out but the goal was cancelled by a questionable offsides call.
At 18:40, Jameson got free on a breakaway and appeared to be fouled inside the penalty box but the referee ruled that he was taken down just outside the box and the Cats were awarded a free kick from 20 yards out. The Cats could not take advantage of the free kick, but continued to have most of the possession. At 29:37 Buckley finally got the Cats on the board with goal from the left wing about 15 yards out, making it 2-1 in favor of Holmes.
Holmes scored a late goal in added time when a player took the ball from a Wildcat defender in front of goal and scored from close range. Holmes added another goal before the halftime whistle. After about 10 minutes of stoppage time the halftime score was 4-1.
Holmes scored just 2:25 into the second half to take a 5-1 lead but Henry County responded with a goal from Ramos at the 9:00 mark top make it 5-2.
Holmes added goals at 11:30 and 13:00 mark to make it 7-2 and got a final goal at 23:50.
The Cats’ Jacob Buckley got a second goal at the 26:43 mark to make the final score 8-3.
Gallatin Co. 5
The Sept. 5 game opened brightly for Henry as the Cats scored within five minutes of the opening kick.
Gavin Jameson hit the back of the net from about 10 yards out on a nice feed from Jesus Ramos. Minutes later, Jameson had another good chance from 15 yards but was just off the mark and things went quickly downhill from there.
Gallatin began to have more possession and eventually scored from 15 yards out late in the half. Minutes later the visitors intercepted a goal kick and dribbled in to point blank range to score their second goal. The goal gave Gallatin a 2-1 lead at going into halftime.
Gallatin scored again 4:30 into the second half when their striker got behind the defense on a nice pass and hammered it home from 10 yards out. Less than two minutes later, Gallatin intercepted another goal kick and scored from 15 yards out to make it 4-1.
The Henry County goalkeeper made a couple of nice saves which kept it close until Gallatin scored off a wall pass from 18 yards out with 7:30 to go.
With about one minute remaining, Ramos dribbled through the defense and scored from five yards out to make the final score 5-2.
After the game coach Bobby Jameson was visibly upset by the team’s performance. “We had a lack of defense and lack of mental toughness,” he said. “We continue to let things bother us. Things like trash talk from the other team. Every game we get a yellow card because we let the other team get to us with their talk.”
Jameson was pleased with the progress of one player. “Eric Gidzinski had an excellent first half. If anyone stood out he did.”
Against a much more technical Walton-Verona team on Sept. 4, Jameson was happier, despite the final score.
“We played good even though it was 8-2,” he said. “They were a good technical team. One of the best we’ve played. They were a senior dominated team. All but six of their team were seniors and four of the others were juniors.”
Gavin Jameson scored 2 goals, one on an assist from Ramos, and the other on an assist from Buckley.
“We actually had moments defensively where we did well,” Coach Jameson said. “Jacob Bratton was all over the field, hustling. He went after every 50-50 ball. Our breakdown came in midfield. We got a little wide and opened by their good passing. Walton is the best team we’ve seen all year. We played with them in the first half.”