The Franklin County boys soccer team narrowly escaped with a win on Thursday night.
The Flyers (9-4-1) defeated Model 1-0 at Sower Soccer Field after a scoreless first half.
Head coach Zac Donnelly said the FCHS team he saw play wasn’t the one he has seen all year.
“It is a totally different team from Tuesday,” Donnelly said of FCHS’ 2-1 win over Mercer County. “Tuesday, we probably played the best we’ve played all year.
“This was on the lower end of the scale. They were slow, there wasn’t the intensity, they weren’t winning 50/50 balls. To me, it is a mental thing this late in the season. If you had asked me on Tuesday, I would’ve said we’re heading in the right direction. There are inconsistent. Hopefully we can get a grasp on that the next two weeks.”
The first half went scoreless for both teams with the coaches on FCHS’ side calling out to their athletes to “wake up,” “start playing,” “make better decisions.”
It wasn’t until the second half that the Flyers listened to their coaches’ advice.
“We tried to inspire them at the half and somewhat say how disappointed we were as coaches and how it is their responsibility on the field. We can’t play the game for them,” Donnelly said.
Within the first few minutes of the second half, senior Logan Doris put a header into the back of the net to give FCHS a 1-0 lead over Model. Donnelly called the goal, “the difference maker.”
But Donnelly said after the score, his team started to slow down again just as the Patriots started to pick up their attack.
“The first five minutes they came out and put a goal in and then they went back to relaxed mode,” Donnelly said.
With 10 minutes to go in the game, Model kept the ball in FCHS territory leaving goalkeeper Nathan Kring and Flyer defenders to go to work. As the last seconds ticked by, Kring was able to record the shutout. Senior Turner Curtis was in goal for the Patriots.
“He played great,” Donnelly said. “We had another shutout from Nathan Kring. I thought our back four played well. One of their players, No.19 (John Reisig) is one of the leading scorers in the state with 22 goals, to keep him off the scorecard is impressive.”
Donnelly said he will give his players the day off today to help heal some injuries and come back refocused, especially on the offensive side of the team.
“Our defense played well, but I think it is our offense that needs to be clicking and needs to be working harder. I have to give it to Model. They’ve only lost one game this year. I think we could have gotten a better outcome had we played to our capabilities, but Model is definitely a talented team.”
“Our next week is going to be tough,” Donnelly said. “We have Paul Laurence Dunbar (Tuesday), who I believe is ranked in the top three in the state. We are definitely going to have to bring our ‘A’ game.”