It was the best half of soccer the Henry County boys’ team has played this season, but they still took a 4-1 loss to Spencer County last Monday night to drop to 0-6 with just one game remaining on their schedule.
Actually, coach Jay Dunavan said it was the best half his team had played since the Wildcats started the program from scratch last August. The Cats dominated for much of the first 40-minute stretch, holding a 1-0 lead into the break, before faltering in the second half. They allowed four goals in a twist of events that saw them take a three-goal loss.
“It was a great first half, I will say that,” Dunavan said. “They played like I had been trying to get them to play all year. We did an excellent job defensively and I felt like we pretty much dominated Spencer.”
At halftime, Dunavan talked to his team about coming out and applying the pressure. But that was not the case when the teams took to the field again with the roles reversed. Spencer spent most of the second half around its net, which led to numerous shots at goal and the four points.
“You find that inconsistent play with a young, inexperienced team,” Dunavan said. “We were never able to apply that pressure up front like we needed to. It was very disappointing but the positive thing we can take away from a building program is we at least had one full half of good soccer against a good team.”
Henry had a hard time keeping its intensity with just one sub the entire game. Plus, defensive ace Aaron Wedge missed the game with an injury and Henry’s top two keepers were out as well.
Henry’s lone goal came midway through the first half when junior Eric Phillips found the back of the net to give the Wildcats one of their few leads this year. They held it until the second half.
“With our situation, a lot of our players did step up,” said Dunavan, who wanted to point out the play he saw from freshman Nathan Revera as the goalie and senior Kevin Gonzolas. “It showed that we are progressing, which is what I’m looking for right now.”
Henry was supposed to host Owen County last Wednesday night but that contest was canceled when standing water was on the soccer field. The two squads are trying to make up the game this Thursday — it is still questionable. If they play, it will be on Owen’s home field.
The Wildcats last game of the regular season is scheduled for Oct. 8 at Carroll County. They start the 16th District tournament the following week.
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