Owls draw with Jeffersonville in HHC opener



Owls boys soccer coach Matt Dennis is noticing his team is making strides.

Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Jeffersonville to open up their Hoosier Hills Conference season wasn’t exactly the way he wanted the night to end for his boys, but he can’t fault their effort.

In fact, he was ecstatic about their lone goal of the night scored by Simon Akers, off the assist from Luke Reasoner, because it came via offense they had practiced just the day before.

“I think when we implement our team goals and our team tactics we can be very skilled,” Dennis explained. “There were glimpses of that today. Our goal came exactly from what we did in training yesterday, and I turned to the bench, and I got really excited about the goal because it came from training yesterday.”

Akers’ strikeĀ  broke the scoreless draw 26 minutes into the game. It came just 10 minutes after the Owls had their first shot on goal attempt.

Unfortunately, it was equalized just 10 minutes later after Jeffersonville pelted a shot off of freshman keeper William Smith, got the rebound and drove the ball past him while he tried to recover.

Dennis praised Smith and noted he has locked down the No. 1 keeper job for the Owls and has played the role well in this first stint of varsity action.

“He’s done really well for us and those were good saves tonight,” Dennis said. “The one they got, he had a save first and he’s doing everything you could ask a freshman could do.”

Smith finished the night with fives saves, deflecting half of the Red Devils’ shots. Dennis explained most of Jeffersonville’s chances were the result of poor attacking, leaving counter attacking chances for the Red Devils, and not on the defense, who he thought played very well with some players in new roles.

Though he was happy with the performance, Dennis knows his boys need to make better decisions with the ball on offense if they want to put some check marks in the win column.

He believes his team is full of “physical forces of nature” but try to do too much on their own. He hopes, going forward, they learn to play within themselves and within their team tactics.

In junior varsity action, the Owls held onto a 0-0 draw. The Red Devils were awarded a penalty kick with less than 10 minutes left to play but the quick reaction of keeper of Will Cottrill preserved the draw.

The Owls play the final game of their three-match homestand on Thursday against the Columbus East Olympians. Junior varsity kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. with varsity to follow.

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