Tough test


After a weary 80 minutes in the hot sun on Saturday, the Seymour boys soccer team had their work cut out for them against East Central on Tuesday night.

Three starters went the distance against Jasper over the weekend and tired legs showed in the second half for the Owls against the Trojans. Still, thanks to a great response from senior Josiah Blackerby, Seymour was able to hang on for a 1-1 draw with the Trojans after an early second-half goal put the visitors up in the first nine minutes of the second half.

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Seymour coach Matt Dennis said too many players tried to make plays themselves instead of working together as a team.

“It was far too individualized,” Dennis said. “We had a bunch of guys playing on an island; we didn’t have a coherent team vision going forward.”

Dennis spoke specifically to players taking too long with the ball and not looking for the open man.

Missed chances and great keeper play defined the first half for Seymour.

The Owls earned four corners in the opening 40 minutes, all taken by junior Carter Hendrix. On three of those set pieces, Hendrix put dangerous balls into the box that begged for a boot to put it into the back of the net.

It never came.

All three times, the ball drifted through the box and passed the end line.

“I wouldn’t call much of what we did good or great,” Dennis said. “The first 40 minutes has to be better. We weren’t ready to play, we could come up with a bunch of excuses on why that’s the case but it doesn’t matter.

“The boys didn’t step on the field ready and some of that falls back on me.”

Those missed opportunities made keeper duties for freshman William Smith even more stressful in his effort to keep his clean sheet in the first half. He eventually let one through in the ninth minute of the second half.

Still in spite of the blemish, Dennis was pleased with the freshman keeper, who was making his first stop in place of sophomore Donovyn Thomas.

“I thought Will made some very good saves today,” Dennis said. “The two right in succession were game savers right there. For a freshman goal keeper, in his first ever home match, I think that’s huge out of him.”

All told, Smith saved seven shots.

Dennis explained that Thomas and Smith are still fighting for the No. 1 keeper spot.

He praised both their efforts so far in varsity competition and knows he has a tough decision going forward before Hoosier Hills Conference play begins on September 3 against Jeffersonville.

For now, the Owls are off until Thursday when they travel to Brown County for a 5:30 p.m. start.