— There was some excitement in the air Monday night at Batesville High School.
And rightfully so considering two of the best soccer teams in the area were pitted against one another.
The East Central Trojans scored the game’s lone goal at the 39-minute mark in the second half to capture the key Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference victory.
The Trojans entered the game undefeated in conference play, while the Bulldogs were 8-1 with the only loss coming against EC in St. Leon 3-2 earlier this season.
Since that first loss, Batesville had gone on an 11 game unbeaten streak and put themselves in position to challenge for a share of the conference championship.
“Mondays match had the feel of a championship match,” BHS head coach Chris Fox commented. “We came out on fire and quickly began challenging the Trojan defense.”
Both teams had several good looks at goal with several good saves and a couple shots off the crossbar.
The game remained scoreless at halftime and looked as though a shootout could be in the works.
But the Trojans took advantage of a breakdown by the Bulldogs and scored the eventual game-winner.
The Bulldogs later settled back into their solid play and was able to challenge the Trojans defenders.
As time was winding down, the Bulldogs increased the intensity of the attack and had several good scoring opportunities. The EC defense was able to hold off the attack and secure the victory.
“The first half was some of the best soccer I've seen in a while and one of the best against EC in many years,” Fox commented. “It is unfortunate to give up a goal like that so early in the second half.
“It really took us out of our game plan for much of the second half,” he added.
Despite the loss, Fox took some positives from the outing.
“Even though we are disappointed, we are very proud of our effort and how well we played,” he commented. “We must now learn from the mistakes and build upon those things we did very well.”
Bulldogs blank Franklin County
The Bulldogs scored four times in the first half and two in the second to post a 6-0 victory over the Wildcats.
Senior Ian Prickel scored twice in the first half to lead the offensive attack. Luis Davalos scored once and was credited with a pair of assists over the same timespan. Austin Meyer scored the team’s other first half goal. James Balser assisted on the first goal by Davalos and the final one by Meyer.
Ryan Fisher and Meyer added goals in the second half.