6-goal rout for NH
Team camps and off-season work with the ball opened the minds of North Harrison boys’ soccer players to the possibilities, according to coach Clint Clark.
Spacing, passing and unselfish play were take-aways from the summer regimen. The practice paid off in the home opener Monday afternoon in Ramsey. A hat trick from sophomore Hunter Ganote, along with a pair of goals from senior Andrew Robertson, was more than enough to deflate Shoals, 6-0.
‘They’ve become really unselfish,’ Clark said. ‘The combinations have led to goals. They’ve figured out sharing the ball leads to more production as a group.’
Carson Wetzel, playing the ball down the right flank, set up the first goal four minutes in by serving a pass to Zeke Clark. A perfect ball to the center of the box, Clark fired the attempt in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
North Harrison, minutes later, had a shot at a penalty after Noah Yost’s attempt was blocked by a handball. The PK was saved by Shoals’ Tanner Doane.
It took some time before the next goals, three more before half. In the 24th minute, Yost and Ganote went back and forth with passes before Ganote scored.
The longest strike, the third North Harrison goal, came off the boot of Robertson. From about 30 yards out, his powerful shot beat the keeper and stayed under the crossbar.
Then, before halftime, Carson Wetzel served a laser-like cross to the back post where Ganote was waiting. Redirecting the ball off his chest, Ganote notched his second goal of the match.
‘We got a little sloppy in the first half, falling back in bad habits, then we went back to holding possession,’ coach Clark said. ‘We’re a little tight in the middle. I’d like to spread it out wider, but at least they are looking for each other and not to only go for goal right away.’
With a 4-0 lead at half, North Harrison continued to hold possession, giving the Jug Rox little opportunities. Robertson and Ganote added goals in the second half to further ensure victory, moving the Cougars to a 2-0 record.
Play was halted midway through the second half when Shoals coach Jeff Gee was shown a red card for disputing physical play in the penalty area.
Earning the shutout in goal was a combined effort from Quinn Kaiser and Kyle Ballew. Kaiser made three first-half saves before being lifted for Ballew with 15 minutes remaining in the match.
Each team saw one player receive yellow cards: Yost for North Harrison and D.J. Hart for the Jug Rox.
Clark said the seniors on the team ‘ James Medina, Clayton Fonda, Yost, Robertson, Ballew and newcomer Carl Robertson ‘ have helped show the maturity of the squad.
‘The guys off the bench last year were new,’ Clark said. ‘They’ve worked hard this summer to get better. We didn’t graduate anybody. We started six freshmen last year, and we’re still starting them but now they are sophomores. They are a year older, and, honestly, some of them have sprouted up. Overall, maturity has increased.’
The Cougars will return to the home pitch tomorrow (Thursday) to face Tell City at 6 p.m.