Early lead keeps Seymour in front against New Albany

For The Tribune

The Seymour boys soccer team opened up a 3-0 lead by halftime and went on to a 4-1 win against New Albany on Thursday night at C.B. Hess Memorial Field.

“It’s our first (Hoosier Hills Conference) win,” Owls coach Matt Dennis said. “You always like to get the first one.”

His team improved to 1-2 in the HHC and 6-3 overall.

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“It’s two in a row and hopefully we can get three with Oldenburg Academy on Saturday,” Dennis said. “That would leave a good taste in our mouth as we go down to Floyd Central (on Tuesday).

“We really wanted to dominate the first five or 10 minutes of the game,” Dennis said. “That was one of our goals before the game. We’ve come out slow, and some of the goals we’ve conceded have been really early, so it was a focus for us to come out not concede early, and not only that but to take it to the other team, and we did that well.”

The Owls played aggressive from the start as freshman Daniel Hartman put a ball in the net for a 1-0 lead at 38:06.

“Goal No. 1 was to dominate the first 10 (minutes),” Dennis said. “Goal No. 2 was to combination play over the flank, and that meant getting our backs forward. I thought we were a little slow to do that in the first half. Our goals came from good play in front of the backs.

“In the second half, even though we didn’t score from them, our outside backs got forward a lot. Ethan Greene and Matthew Pyle really worked their tails off on the outside to get forward, to serve balls in to be played to take shots, and then to get back defensively, so I’m really proud of their efforts, especially in the second half.”

Owls junior Brantley Adams recovered a teammates’ miss and scored eight minutes after Hartman’s goal, and senior Korey White made it 3-0 with 8:59 remaining in the half.

Seymour goalie Austin Hatfield was stagnant for the first 32 minutes of play as he didn’t touch the ball until eight minutes remained in the half.

Hatfield was in goal for the first 30 minutes and finished with two saves, and Elliott Clark tended goal for the final 10 minutes and had one save.

The Owls attempted 12 shots in each half, while the Bulldogs had two tries in the first half and seven for the night.

Seymour had several chances to score early in the second half as a shot by Adams hit the post with 35 minutes on the clock, and the Owls had some near misses over the next seven minutes.

The Bulldogs broke up the shutout at the 15:11 mark, but the Hartman answered for the Owls at the 7:47 mark to finish the scoring.

Renato Castillo had two assists and Pyle had one assist for the Owls.

“We shouldn’t have conceded,” Dennis said. “We relaxed a little bit in the build up to that goal that they had, and I don’t really want to see that out of our guys. I think we looked at it and saw we were up three goals, so we didn’t take care of our possessions, and we didn’t really have a mental sharpness that we needed to score because we knew we had a cushion, so then we give up the goal and we respond with a goal.

“We’ve done that in games before where we come out and the game may be easy for us, or whatever, but we relax and we give up a goal, then we decide we’re going to go for it and we’re going to play well. My team is really good at responding. I kind of wish we wouldn’t have to respond so early sometimes.”