Late goal lifts Scottsburg over NH
On the hottest day of the summer, the Cougars boys’ soccer team gave it their all in the final 20 minutes of regulation but fell short due to a late Scottsburg goal 3-2 Thursday in Ramsey.
The match featured three water breaks, keeping each player hydrated and loose. In addition to the breaks, the start time was moved back to 7 p.m., an hour past the original game time. Temperatures during the day reached 99 degrees, setting a record for Aug. 23.
The heat obviously took a toll on the athletes, with the game moving at a snail’s pace during portions of the first half.
With the game knotted at 1-1, North Harrison’s Cody Johnson was rewarded for an unlucky break. After hitting the post on a shot attempt, Scottsburg a minute later committed a foul in the penalty area. Johnson took the penalty kick, launching it into the top left corner of the net.
North Harrison took a 2-1 edge into the second period. Scottsburg answered with an amazing 30-yard bender from Bryan Smallwood.
The match remained tied until Scottsburg took the lead with six minutes remaining. Mike Becker scored, scooting one just beyond the reach of North Harrison keeper Allen Austin.
‘I think the game was played at a crawl for a while,’ said North Harrison coach Duane Boady. ‘For about 15 minutes, things were going pretty slow. Then our guys stepped it up; the intensity got to where I wanted it. This was a great effort for us.’
In the final 20 minutes, the Cougars played loose and fast. They had opportunities to score but couldn’t find the back of the net.
‘We did a lot better at passing,’ Boady added. ‘We are starting to see the game a little better. I thought it might take half the season to do that. It’s just going to take some time.’
Boady enters his first year of high school coaching with optimism. He said eight or nine positions are locked down, but battles are going on for the final few spots on the starting line.
‘Every time we have a game, it is a great learning exercise for us,’ Boady said. ‘We pick out a few things we can work on and tackle it each week.’
He admitted his team has some weaknesses, but they are working through them.
‘We’re getting beat in the midfield sometimes,’ said Boady. ‘Our defense is young. Some of these guys haven’t played since the YMCA (youth league). It’s a building year for us, but we’re going to see wins.’
Boady said Austin, a first-year goalie, is getting more confident after each game in goal. Over time, Boady thinks the more aggressive he gets, like making a daring save out of the box against Scottsburg, the better he will get.
North Harrison dropped to 0-4 on the season after falling to Christian Academy 3-0 on Saturday.
This Saturday, the Cougars will play in the Haas Cup at Restoration Christian at 10 a.m. They turnaround for a road match against Salem on Tuesday before hosting county-rival Corydon Central on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
Click for photo gallery