Leading the game 1-0 for more than half of the game at home, the rails came off in the final 15 minutes when Blue Ridge surprised the crowd and scored twice despite the wet conditions on the field.
“I feel like we were off our game due to not being able to play or practice yesterday, we seemed sluggish today,” said Head Coach Bryan Dearth.
The loss ends Highlands’ middle school soccer team’s undefeated streak, but they remain undefeated in conference play. Goalie J.D. Head said he gave it his all and sometimes you can’t pull off the win.
“The first one went in even though I went for it,” said Head. “The second one came in at the buzzer. It was a shot over my head, nothing I could do about it.”
Sophia Stiles said Highlands maintained a consistent defense throughout the game but couldn’t keep Blue Ridge off the board.
“In the last 10 minutes they score two, we won all of the others on our end so far, until those two,” said Stiles. “We did poorly today. They ended up scoring and we couldn’t stop it.”
Finneaus Garner said they had a great energy to begin with but could not maintain it.
“We lost our momentum and couldn’t get it back,” said Garner. “It was really wet out there, plus I accidentally slid on my belly and got dirty. It feels pretty bad, but it’s just one game. If we get our speed up I think we can do it next time.”
He added that looking down the road he’s going to prepare a bit harder for the next game against Summit.
“I’m going to work on my running,” he said. “We didn’t run hard enough today.”
Dearth said there are plenty of things they are going to focus on before playing at Summit at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.
“We definitely need to work on moving the ball up the field quicker,” said Dearth. “Our mid fielders need to transition from offense to defense better and we need to communicate better. As a whole, we just didn’t play up to our potential today. Our next game is at Summit on Thursday, and we will be working on attacking the goal and transitioning from offense to defense in the mid field.”
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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