After a slow, sometimes listless first half, Floyd Central scored four times in the second half to beat rival Providence 4-1 Tuesday at the Floyd Central Soccer Complex.
The Highlanders, who are now 3-0, were a completely different team from the opening half to the final one. In the first half, they had five shots; In the second, they had 13. In the first 40 minutes, they had four scoring chances; In the second, they had 10. In the opening half, the Highlanders put two shots on goal then had six in the second, including the four goals.
“The kids were excited about playing at home against a rival in front of a big crowd,” Floyd Central first-year coach Tim Rice explained. “In the first half, we didn’t play our style. In the second, we played our style and it was more characteristic of what we’re capable of.”
“The first half was kind of slow,” Floyd junior Henok Jones said. “At the half, we talked about the things we needed to fix. In the second half, we did what we needed to do out there.”
The halftime adjustments were immediately noticeable. In the first minute, Jones foreshadowed things to come when put a shot past Providence goalkeeper James Garner that sailed just over the goal.
A few seconds later, Parker Davidenkoff got the Highlanders on the board on a crossing pass in the box from Zach Lewis.
“Zach got a good run down the wing,” Davidenkoff recalled. “He made a good cross and it was an easy tap-in for me.”
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Floyd got four shots off. Then in the 56th minute, the Highlanders showed off their depth. Hunter Poff started the scoring play with a run down the right sideline. He beat a Providence defender and found Logan Howland. Howland played a ball across the box to junior Aaron Brockman, who put the ball in the net for his first varsity goal.
Both Howland and Brockman are Highlander reserves.
“[Howland] played the ball right to my foot and I just finished it,” Brockman explained. “It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Hopefully, I’ll get some more this year.”
Rice said that his Highlanders are quickly picking up what he’s teaching.
“Our style is to get everyone involved,” he said. “We want to be multi-dimensional. We want to make defenders make difficult decisions [about] who they want to defend because we have several players capable of scoring.”
Brent Hesse cut the Floyd lead in half with Providence’s only goal of the night with 17:17 left in the second half. Hesse got his head on an Evan Holkamp corner kick and put the ball in the net to make it 2-1.
“Brent Hesse is the tallest guy on our team,” Providence coach Brandon Rogers said. “He was able to get up and place it well. It was a good finish.”
After the Pioneers got back in the game, Jones put them away.
First, he played a crossing pass from Davidenkoff into the net to make it 3-1 with 8:59 remaining in regulation. Less than two minutes later, Jones beat three Providence defenders and put the ball over Garner’s head in the night’s most impressive individual play to put the Highlanders up 4-1.
“Henok Jones is a special player,” Rice said. “You can’t deny his ability. We’ll depend on that from him, but without the other two goals, it’s 2-1 the game’s a lot tighter.”
Providence (1-1-1) will go to Indianapolis Chatard on Saturday. The Highlanders will put their unbeaten mark on the line next Thursday (Sept. 5) when they go to Corydon Central.
HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ SOCCER
FLOYD CENTRAL 4, PROVIDENCE 1
Providence 0 1—1
Floyd Central 0 4—4
F — Parker Davidenkoff (Zach Lewis), 42nd min.
F — Aaron Brockman (Logan Howland), 56th.
P — Brent Hesse (Evan Holkamp), 62nd.
F — Henok Jones (Davidenkoff), 72nd.
F — Jones (unassisted), 73rd.
Shots: Providence 8, Floyd Central 18.
Shots on goal: Providence 6, Floyd Central 8.
Scoring chances: Providence 6, Floyd Central 15.
Saves: Providence 4, Floyd Central 5.
Corner kicks: Providence 5, Floyd Central 7.
Fouls: Providence 4, Floyd Central 6.
Yellow cards: Providence — Holkamp.