PENDLETON — The Hamilton Southeastern Royals came into Pendleton with a deceiving 0-3 record in boys’ soccer but walked off the field with their first victory of the season.
The Royals soccer team can chalk up two of those losses to the second- and third-rated teams in the state. They dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 2 Avon and a 3-0 loss to No. 3 Carmel with their other loss at the feet of Lafayette Harrison before notching a 3-0 win over Pendleton Heights.
Liam Kane got Hamilton Southeastern on the board in the first eight minutes of the match, and Alex Fearing gave them a commanding 2-0 lead with 2:37 before the intermission.
At the 16-minute mark of the second half it was Brec Musselman who scored to give the visitors all the goals they needed to score their first win of the season.
Arabians (4-2-1) coach Kyle Davy said that despite Hamilton Southeastern being a great team he felt like his kids weren’t keeping the ball on the opponents side of the field enough.
“You’ve got to give them credit, I mean they’re a great team,” he said. “We definitely were a little off tonight. They didn’t possess the ball like they have in past games. (We) just didn’t get into our groove at all, so that definitely hurt us.”
Davy said that he didn’t have an explanation for why his team couldn’t find their groove, but he said they’ve played a lot of games in a short amount of time. He said the second half of the season gets a little easier with more time off to rest and recuperate.
Pendleton Heights’ coach said that he talked to his team about staying positive with several games still left on the schedule.
“Keep their heads up,” Davy told his team after the match. “We have a long season to go. Just build off of this and go forward with it.”
He said that the Royals are in their sectional and with the possibility of meeting again they can better prepare for them if that matchup would take place in the post-season.
“We get to see what they have this early in the season,” said Davy. “Maybe later on game plan for it. We knew coming into this game that they were going to play really well technically. We’ll just be able to game plan for next time.”
Davy said that despite the shutout he doesn’t fear that his team will experience a letdown because of his great senior leadership on the team.
“We’ve got great senior leadership,” he said. “Our senior captains keep us going forward.
“Next week we have Anderson on Wednesday,” Davy added. “Those guys are going to come pumped for that. It’s a little rivalry, so we’ll be ready for that match. We’ll rebound from (HSE) and go forward with that.”