BY GREG FLINT
WEST VIGO, Ind. —
The Covington soccer team took on host West Vigo in the opening round of sectional play and came away with a 3-0 victory.
The game was a tale of two halves according to Trojan coach Ryan Sowers.
“We didn’t play our game in the first half,” Sowers said. “We just kicked the ball up and down with them, but after halftime we did much better.”
Sowers said he sensed nervousness in his team in practice on Tuesday and even more when they took the field against the Vikings.
The game was scoreless after the first 40 minutes and in the intermission, Sowers said he told his team to calm down and play its game.
It worked, as his team moved the ball up field and centered it to Travis Coleman who scored just over two minutes into the second half.
“At halftime, the coach told us we knew what we should be doing and for us to go out and do it,” said Coleman. “We passed and trapped better. We had more focus and it worked.”
At little over three minutes later, Zeb Newlin scored the second Covington goal and it seemed to completely relax the Trojans — perhaps a bit too much as they gave West Vigo substantial possession for about 10 minutes.
The Covington defense, anchored by Spencer McCone, Jansen Applegate, Nick Heimes and Adam Randles were up to the task and kept much of the Viking pressure away from goalkeeper Dylan Moore.
Once that slack period was over, the Trojans again began to attack and it eventually paid off with another goal by Newlin with about 10 minutes left in the contest that made the score 3-0.
The Trojans had several other chances and near misses, bouncing a shot off the post and another, on a free kick, going inches over the ball, but they did not score again and 3-0 was the final.
“Our offense began to spread out — like we’re supposed to do,” said Newlin about the second half. “We started dragging defenders away because of our spacing and that gave us room to shoot.”
Newlin added that the team focused on its passing, “getting the ball to where it should be to get us shots”, but that the team could have played better.
Sowers agreed, saying that the team had some things they needed to do better like ball reversal and defensive touches, but that he was looking forward to the championship game on Saturday.
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org