While Saturday’s match didn’t have any conference or postseason implications, it was an important one for Seymour’s boys soccer team.
Going into the long weekend, the Owls needed to get a win over Franklin Community to gain some momentum as they prepare for the heart of Hoosier Hills Conference play.
Behind three different scorers on three different assist-makers, the Owls (5-2) pulled out a 3-2 win over the Grizzly Cubs (4-3).
Seymour got the edge just more than 10 minutes into the game, as Daniel Hartman took a through ball from Tyler Penegar, dribbled and slid a shot past the Grizzly Cubs’ keeper from 10 yards to put the Owls up 1-0.
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Franklin knotted the game on a 16-yard shot from Owen Atkinson with 13:38 on the clock before taking the lead.
After a goal by Penegar was waved off due to an offsides call, Atkinson rifled a shot to the top right corner of the Seymour goal to put the Grizzly Cubs up 2-1 with fewer than eight minutes left in the half.
The Owls retied the game with 4:49 on the clock, as Payton Reasoner hit a grounded cross from Blaine Spivey in the middle of the 6-yard box for a goal.
At the break, the teams were tied at 2.
Owls coach Matt Dennis told his team to lock in defensively and adjust its form at intermission.
“Our holding (midfielders) were a bit out of position in the first 40 (minutes),” Dennis said. “We talked about that at halftime and how Evan (Baurle) and Payton (Reasoner) should play against (Atkinson). (Atkinson) is an excellent player. We talked about how they should play against him and how our shape should be once we’ve lost possession.”
Seven minutes into the second half, an outside pass from Carter Hendrix found Cole Fosbrink inside the box. Fosbrink finished from close range to put the Owls up 3-2.
While both teams had scoring chances down the stretch, neither could find the back of the net the rest of the way.
“I thought in the second half, (the play) was way better than it was in the first half,” Dennis said. “In the first half, at times, it didn’t look like we had holding mids. (Atkinson’s) second goal, which was phenomenal, he didn’t get that shot in the second half because we changed the way we play defense against him. He was relegated to servicing balls to guys that weren’t able to finish the ball as well as he could.”
Dennis also complimented his outside midfielders, including the strong play from Hendrix and Simon Akers.
“I think we played five or six different guys at the outside mid positions,” Dennis said. “Those guys were basically taking 80-yard sprints the entire game. If they are willing to do that for the team and have that work ethic, I think we’re going to be fine.’
The Owls were outshot 12-7 in the game. Goalkeeper Patrick DeBoor recorded five saves.
Hartman’s goal was his 51st for the Owls’ varsity program. The senior is five goals away from setting the school record for goals in a career. The current record is held by Nick Eddy.
The Owls will play at New Albany on Thursday before going to Class A No. 1 Oldenburg Academy on Saturday. The following week, the Owls have key HHC games against 3A No. 13 Floyd Central and Madison before going to 3A No. 12 Center Grove.