Monday’s sectional matchup at Seymour High School should prove to be a dogfight.
Despite a 3-0 loss to visiting Columbus North on Tuesday, the Seymour boys soccer team knows they can hang with the Bull Dogs in the opening postseason rematch.
The Owls (11-3), who were missing three players due to injury and illness, trailed 1-0 until giving up a pair of goals in the final five minutes of play.
“It’s tough to take a 3-0 loss at home, but we feel like we can compete well,” Owls coach Matt Dennis said. “There was much of that match that we had. We just need to clean up a little bit and watch some tape.
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I think that Monday is going to be an epic matchup on the field.”
Both teams battled for possession in the opening six minutes until a corner kick by North (9-4-1) was cleared by Owls senior defender Griffin Sciarra after a deflection in front of the goal.
The Bull Dogs rifled three shots at Seymour keeper Brayan Torres in the span of 90 seconds, which ended at the 24:08-mark. However, Torres collected the chances with a pair of diving saves.
Owls sophomore Daniel Hartman hit a free kick from 30 yards on the right side of the pitch that found the head of senior Brantley Adams at 16:25, but the shot just went wide of the far post.
Torres continued to thwart the Bull Dogs’ defense as he laid-out for another save at 7:02 off a shot from Alex McGill.
The Owls missed a golden opportunity at 4:57, when Brantley Adams sailed a penalty kick over the top of the crossbar.
North then shifted the momentum.
The Bull Dogs took the lead when McGill hit a cross into the back of the net from inside 12 yards with a little over two minutes left in the first half.
At intermission, North led the shots-on-goal count 7-1 with the 1-0 advantage.
The offensive woes continued for the Owls throughout the second half.
North had back-to-back corner kicks at 24:24 but couldn’t convert with a shot by Rico Hollenkamp bounced off the post and the other was cleared by the Owls’ defense.
A deflection by the Owls’ Mason Pottschmidt was corralled by North goalie Mark Salle-Tabor after a long cross from Brayan Morales with 17 left. It was the first shot on frame for the Owls since the start of the final 40 minutes.
McGill added another goal off an assist by Kaemon Jiles with 3:24 to play and secured the hat-trick when he flicked one over Torres from just inside the 18 at 3:03 to put the Bull Dogs up 3-0.
I think that the midfield is where we lost it,” Dennis said. “We allowed them to possess the ball too much. I thought when we won the ball and moved forward we were threatening. We just couldn’t get the finish. When we were in pressure we weren’t up to snuff in the midfield, taking care of the ball and playing to feet.”
North out-shot Seymour 12-4, and Torres finished with six saves total.
On Thursday, the Owls will play at Bedford North Lawrence with a shot to outright win the Hoosier Hills Conference for the first time in program history.