ANDERSON — What was billed last week by Pendleton Heights boys soccer coach Kyle Davy as a big Madison County rivalry game turned into an 8-0 blowout win over Anderson on Wednesday.
Dylen Eby started the scoring explosion for the Arabians (5-2-1) at the 20-minute mark of the first half. Brian Wolverton and Austin Kepner each added another goal to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at intermission.
Although Anderson coach Chris Spolyar used three keepers in the game, the Indians couldn’t seem to figure out the potent offense of Pendleton Heights, and the Arabians put five more balls into the net in the second half.
Matt Brown, Evan Dix, Nathan Simmons, Wolverton and Hunter Sultzer all scored goals in the second half for the Arabians.
After last Wednesday’s loss to Hamilton Southeastern, Davy said he challenged his players to get better.
“After the loss last week, my guys were down,” he said. “I challenged them. We put some guys in different spots, and I just challenged them to come out and play their hardest here. Just try and get back on track to where we’re wanting to be this season. My guys stepped up, and they answered the call. They came out and they played really well tonight, and so it’s something to be proud of.”
Not only did the Arabians answer the call, but they dominated the shots on goal. Pendleton Heights outshot Anderson 24-2 for the match.
Davy said his team plays Delta, a conference foe, next and Wendesday night’s game will give his team some confidence heading into that matchup.
Pendleton Heights’ coach said his kids got a little comfortable with where they were at the beginning of the season, and he said he will have a talk with them about not getting overconfident after the match with the Indians (1-3).
“We got a little comfortable with where we were,” said Davy. “I just want to talk to the guys and say, ‘Don’t be satisfied with this.' This is just one game of the 13-game schedule that we play. We have to come out every game and play with this type of intensity.”
Spolyar said he will remind his young group of players that this is only one game and to learn from their mistakes.
“It’s one game,” he said of his postgame speech. “We’re such a young team. We graduated 11 varsity players last year — a lot of new guys. We knew we were going to build game-by-game. Pendleton’s an established team. The team that we beat last year, they’re there still.”
Spolyar said the blowout loss is motivation for his team to get better as the season moves on.
“It motivates them,” he said. “It’s a motivation. Nobody likes to lose. They don’t like to lose. They want to win the games. The score at the end is what motivates Coach (Jordan) Hobbs and myself to keep their heads up, to keep putting little goals in front of them that they can obtain to build that confidence to continue to play.”
Spolyar said the one big thing his team needs to do to move forward is to trust each other, and he said that is something that is coming with time.