The Henry County Wildcat soccer team got their second district win of the season on Sept. 25, when they defeated the visiting Owen County Rebels, 1-0.
It was the Cats first shutout of the season and the first since they beat the Rebels 1-0 in 2010.
Coach Bobby Jameson was proud of his defense but also credited a strategic change.
“Defensively, we couldn’t have played better. Our midfield grew up. Jacob Buckley, Scott Papineau and Devin Trautwein controlled the midfield. We changed our defensive alignment and now we are going to be tougher in the midfield.”
The Cats had most of the possession in the opening 20 minutes and three good opportunities to score early on. Chris Redmon had a close range shot that was saved before Gavin Jameson just missed on a header from a free kick by Buckley.
At the 18:45 mark, Jameson had another close range shot but the keeper charged out to make a nice save.
The Cats finally broke through with 7:55 left in the first half when Buckley dribbled past several Rebel defenders and scored from a tight angle on the right wing.
Owen County started the second half with most of the possession, but never really had a clear scoring opportunity as the Wildcats snuffed out any move early.
The biggest threat came when Owen had a throw-in deep in Henry County territory. The throw was made like a free kick – long and toward the goal. Buckley went up to head the ball away, but the ball went off the back off his head toward the goal and goalkeeper Coleton Aneszko had to scramble to keep the ball from crossing over the goal line. It was Aneszko’s toughest save of the night as most of Owen’s shots were from long range and did not really threaten him.
As the game progressed the Cats defended their shutout with 10 men behind the ball at all times, leaving Jameson alone up front. Jameson did have one golden opportunity from close range that was again saved when the goalie rushed toward him and the deflected the ball out of danger.
In a season when the Cats have shown improved offensive play but sometimes-shaky defense, it was an unusual game for the Cats. “Offensively we kept pressure on them but this game was about the defense,” Jameson said. “They did an outstanding job.”
With the win the Cats improved to 2-1 in the district.
HCHS 0 Gallatin 2
The Cats traveled to Gallatin County on Thursday night to take on the Gallatin County Wildcats in another important district seeding game and fell 2-0 to drop to 2-2 in district play.
According to Jameson, Gallatin County focused on shutting down striker Gavin Jameson who was playing with sore ribs suffered in the Owen County game.
“They were surrounding him with three or four players all night and constantly talking about stopping him,” Jameson said. “With Gavin being sore and them concentrating on stopping him, he still got off several shots under pressure, but otherwise we had a hard time getting the offense going.”
The host Wildcats scored a goal late in each half to get the win.
“Gallatin didn’t do anything special offensively but the ball bounced their way a couple of times,” Jameson said. “We rotated well and the defense played hard. The offense did what they could do against a stacked defense.”