Owls boys soccer seeks fixes

For The Tribune

Seymour boys soccer coach Matt Dennis says his team has to fix some things before it faces Scottsburg in the Columbus East Sectional Tournament on Monday.

“We’ve got to work on finishing,” he said following a 1-1 tie against Bedford North Lawrence on senior night Thursday at C.B. Hess Memorial Field.

“We’ve got to fix some things before we play Scottsburg on Monday. We’ve got to make sure we go out there and play with 100 percent effort from the start, and make sure we get a whole 80 minutes in.”

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Thursday’s match was scoreless until Kyle Jones knocked in a header off a corner throw-in from Cole Luedeman with 14:47 remaining in the match to give the Owls a 1-0 lead.

“We wanted wide play all night long,” Dennis said. “In an aerial battle, in the box, I felt like we had a better judge of the ball, that we had a better fight for it so we emphasized that at halftime, and tried to get them to serve the ball in.

“I didn’t know it would take a throw in to get us the ball in the box, but ultimately that was our goal the whole half.”

Dennis said he felt like the Owls should have scored earlier as they let excellent opportunities go by the wayside.

“I think that’s been a problem all year that we’ve struggled to finish in front of the net,” he said. “We’ve struggled to keep our composure. We’ve got to find a way to do that. We were in better side tonight, and not being able to put them in the back of the net was ultimately what cost us.”

The Owls had 14 shots and the Stars attempted 12.

SHS goalie Austin Hatfield was credited with four goal saves.

The Stars tied the match with 2:51 remaining to leave the Owls 2-3-2 in the Hoosier Hills Conference.

Dennis said for the most part he was pleased with the defense.

“We were alright,” Dennis said. “I didn’t feel threatened the whole night. They looked to counter a lot and I thought we handled it well. I’m not sure what happened on the goal. I know we let the ball go out of bounds out of a deep throw that perhaps we shouldn’t have allowed.

“For the most part we handled them. A couple of mistakes and one bad minute led to their goal. They came in here in seventh place in the conference and we had an opportunity to beat them and finish fourth. We tied and we finished fifth.”

Before the varsity match, Owls seniors Hatfield, Matthew Pyle, Jones, Martin Sebastian and Korey White and their parents were introduced.

“When I got the job five years ago I talked to these guys when they were in eighth grade and told them that they were the start of something special, that they were going to show Seymour soccer done the right way,” Dennis said.

“I’m extremely proud of them as a group of individuals. They are a great group of human beings, great people, and good soccer players. But as far as I’m concerned that is not one of the most important thing. They are great men and we are going to miss them a lot.”

The Owls are 9-6-2 heading into the sectional.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.