Visibility was at a bare minimum, but that didn’t stop Highlands varsity soccer team from defeating Hayesville 4-1 last night. Head Coach Brett Lamb said he thought the team did well under the rough conditions. He said Highlands passed the ball well and defended Hayesville’s fast attacks despite the fog.
“The fog had its disadvantages for both teams,” said Lamb. “I think we had an advantage because we try to build up our attacks with good passes to each other’s feet. Hayesville tried to cross the ball to the other side of the field and use their speed. The fog caused them to change from crossing to dribbling and trying to get a shot. Their crosses would be questionable since you couldn’t see across the field.”
And that was true for everyone on the field. Freshman Griffin Green scored a goal in the second half and said the conditions on the field were awful.
“Oh they (conditions) were horrible,” said Green. “Especially as a striker (forward). You could see about a 10 yard radius. You can kind of see each other. But we’ve been improving the past couple games and we knew where each other would be.”
Senior Caden Smolarsky said the game was a referee short and the other two had to go to opposite sides of the field.
“It was aggressive, really aggressive, but you just had to keep playing they (referees) weren’t calling anything,” said Smolarsky.
Smolarsky scored Highlands’ third and fourth goals. He said passing to a teammate across the field was a shot in the dark.
“Really, cross passes weren’t real passes, they were more like hopes and prayers,” he said.
Senior Freddie Lopez said the lack of vision probably affected the game the most.
“It’s hard to see, I mean I can’t see nothing,” said Lopez. “But I feel like we did pretty well. We started off slow but we got better.”
Highlands faces off against Franklin away at 6 p.m. on Sept. 27.
“Franklin Thursday will be a revenge game for us,” said Lamb. “We came out the first game on our heels and let them set the tone. We will need to come out and be aggressive and play our game. We have improved since the first time we played.”
Smolarsky said he thinks Highlands will do better than the 2-0 they suffered to Franklin earlier this season at home.
“Franklin likes quick, short passes, and we’ve gotten better defending that,” he said.
Looking at the season as a whole, Lamb said he is pleased with the team’s progress.
“The team as a whole has started growing and improving as a unit and its fun to watch and be a part of,” he said.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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