Opponents Owen and Polk
September 27, 2012Mitchell High School
The Mountaineer soccer team was shut-out in two road losses against 2A conference opponents last week.
Mitchell (2-8, 0-3) lost 7-0 at Owen on Monday, and fell 5-0 at Polk on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers played well early at Owen, but Head Coach Dan McKinney said his team's focus and intensity waned as the game progressed and the Warhorses finally established firm control of the contest.
"The first 15 minutes we played to their level, and it was about 50-50 possession," he said. "After 15 minutes they snuck one in, and it discouraged them. After it was 4-0 they started giving up."
Owen turned 27 shots on goal into a 5-0 lead at the half, and they added two more scores in the final four minutes. Mitchell had just two shots on goal.
"Owen was the best team we've played all year," McKinney said.
Against Polk, the Mountaineers had a couple of early scoring chances. In the first two minutes, Dillon Ledford had a chance off of a corner kick, but his header went wide left. Later, Nate Lipps had a breakaway opportunity that was thwarted when the defender caught up to him near the Wolverine goal and deflected it away.
Polk got on the board after 20 minutes of evenly-matched play. The Wolverines ended the back-and-forth routine when they scored off of a corner kick. Seven minutes later they used their speed advantage to capitalize on another scoring try, and the third goal when goalkeeper Solomon Duncan, forced to make a decision in a one-on-one situation, rushed out first and couldn't prevent the Polk attacker from going around him.
"Defensive breakdowns cost us against Polk. It should have been closer," McKinney said. "We broke down on defense three times. The game probably should have been 2-0. The score doesn't reflect that they didn't play 5-0 better than us."
Polk outshot the Mountaineers 23-7, and led 4-0 at the half.
Two weeks ago, Mitchell got the shot of confidence they needed with a win and two close matches at the tournament in Johnson City. Last week they couldn't sustain that momentum playing a pair of tough opponents in the Western Highlands Conference. McKinney said the goal for his team is to display consistent progress, regardless of the talent level they face on the other side of the pitch.
"We are continuing to improve week by week, even if the teams we're playing are [tougher]," he said. "We're slowly making improvements, and as long as we're making those improvements we'll have a successful season."
Story by Corey Hoilman-Mitchell News Journal