GREENCASTLE, Ind. — Effort can take a team just so far and no further.
When Covington lost to Tri-West Hendricks in the second game of the Greencastle Regional soccer tournament 5-0, that point came with just over 25 minutes gone in the first half.
At that point, the Trojans were caught chasing the ball and the Bruins scored the first of their three goals before intermission.
The second Tri-West goal came two minutes later off a corner kick that Covington could not clear. The third came on a shot that the Trojans were not used to seeing — a blast from over 30 yards away from goal that a diving goalkeeper Spencer McCone could not stop.
“We played a different, more defensive formation in the first half and I think we did pretty well with it,” said Covington coach Ryan Sowers. “They’re a team with good ball touches and they kept constant pressure on us.”
Covington got its first good look at goal about five minutes into the second half, but the shot sailed wide. Moments later, they got caught ball chasing again and Tri-West picked up their fourth goal of the game.
Midway through the second half, both teams began to go deeper into their benches and the game settled down into Covington pushing up field whenever they could while Tri-West concentrated on keeping possession.
The Bruins got their final goal shortly thereafter on a nice back-heel kick that caught the Trojans by surprise.
Covington continued to press for a goal, but simply could not find the net for the remainder of the contest although they did get some set pieces that came close.
“Their team has a different level of skill than anyone we’ve seen,” said Sowers about the Bruins. “We saw them make moves we’ve never seen players make, let alone know how to defend.”