The Seymour boys and girls soccer teams played their annual back-to-back varsity matchup with Hoosier Hills Conference foe Jennings County at C.B. Hess Memorial. Field on Tuesday.
In Game 1, the Owls girls took an early 1-0 lead before netting a pair of scores after intermission to secure a 3-1 victory against the Panthers.
The Owls’ Katie O’Mara put the Owls on the board with 29:53 left in the first half off an assist from fellow junior Marie Lenart.
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While the Owls didn’t score again before halftime, they had several chances on goal.
Five minutes before halftime, the Panthers’ coach was issued a yellow card.
At 34:09, the Owls’ Maria Cerda slotted a goal past the Panthers’ keeper from five yards off a pass from Grace Hartman.
Lenart tallied the Owls’ final goal on the night, at 26:55, after receiving a long cross in the middle from Cerda and dribbling 30 yards before sliding a shot past the Panthers’ keeper.
Owls coach Greg Musser was happy with the way his team responded after each goal.
“We’ve kind of backed off and relaxed pressure after goals (in previous games,” Musser said. “We told them to win the game in five minutes chunks. I thought that was evident after our goals. We put them even more on their heels after we scored.
“It was nice to see that they responded to what we were saying and didn’t relax when we got our goals. We kept the pressure and that’s something we’ve lacked the past couple games.”
With 17:50 left in the game, the Panthers’ Olivia VanOsdal blasted a shot past Owls goalkeeper Rachel Collett from 18 yards to cut her team’s deficit to 3-1.
The Owls played stingy the rest of the way to come away with their first conference win of the season.
At the end of the night, the Owls (4-6-3, 1-2 HHC) out-shot the Panthers 18-10 while Collett collected nine saves in goal.
“I thought all-in-all we controlled every moment of that game,” Musser said. “We got some people in who haven’t gotten a lot of minutes, so it was good to get them into a conference game that’s a little bit faster.”
Boys start slow, finish fast in loss
The Owls’ boys team gave up two goals in the first 40 minutes, and weren’t able to make a comeback in a 2-1 loss to the Panthers.At 37:37, Jennings County’s Zach Taylor finished a cross by Adrian Miller to take an early 1-0 lead.Throughout the first half, the Owls were able to get multiple opportunities on goal, but many of their shots sailed above the crossbar.
As the clock wound down, with 17 seconds left, the Panthers struck again as Pablo Sanchez Martinez ripped a shot from the left side of the goal past Owls goalkeeper Austin Hatfield.
“I think we came out onto the field and thought the game was going to be given to us based on results that we’ve had compared to results that they’ve had,” Owls coach Matt Dennis said. “I feel like we waited for the game to come to us and didn’t play with total effort the first half. We were weak mentally in front of net, I think we lost the desire to get back into the 50-50 ball. We just didn’t’ take care of business in the first 40 minutes.”
Following a halftime speech by coach Matt Dennis, the Owls played with new life in final 40 minutes.
The Owls outshot the Panthers 13-2 after intermission and dominated possession.
Despite their efforts, the Owls scored a goal far too late in the game to narrow the deficit.
With 25 ticks on the clock, Owls junior Brantley Adams blasted a shot inside the box to tally his team’s lone goal.
“In the second half, we were by far the better team,” Dennis said. “We just dominated. They took two shots in the second half compared to eight or nine in the first. We were ripping them on frame and challenging the goalkeeper.’
The Owls (8-4-1) outshot the Panthers 19-10 in the game and Hatfield had four saves.
“We’ve got to make sure we step out on the field ready to go from the opening whistle,” Dennis said.