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Posted: March 20, 2017 10:22 a.m.

Alcovy boys soccer loss to Heritage fuels thoughts of improvement

Anthony Banks | The Covington News/

Alcovy's Conrad Martin (1) tries to advance against the Heritage defense.

CONYERS – The Alcovy Boys Varsity soccer team was looking for an upset against a top region opponent in Heritage-Conyers last Friday. However, the explosiveness of Heritage proved to be too much for the Tigers as they were shut out en route to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Patriots.

The Tigers found themselves in a hole early on when Heritage opened up the game with two goals in the first nine minutes of regulation. From there the action was mostly in favor of the Patriots with the Tigers being unable to generate some offensive runs. Their first chance at an Alcovy goal came from a shot by sophomore Marley Stephenson, but it was saved by Heritage’s keeper.

After giving up two early goals, the Tigers tightened up their defense allowing no goals from the Patriots for nearly 20 minutes before another Heritage score extended its lead to 3-0 heading into halftime.

The Tigers would come out of the half playing much more aggressively, including a near goal from sophomore Chris Rukundo. Despite creating more offensive runs, the Tigers were unable to capitalize which continued the shutout throughout the second half.

Alcovy coach Brian Johnson said that completing scoring opportunities has been a weakness this season for an otherwise well-rounded Tiger squad.

“We’re struggling with our finishing.” Johnson said, “We can possess pretty well. We can defend pretty well, but once we get down in the attack, they get a little excited and want to ram it into the goal instead of taking their time and putting in a nice easy shot.”

Despite missed offensive opportunities, the Tigers buckled down defensively for much of the second half not allowing any goals, including two big saves from senior goalkeeper and captain Austin Davy. Davy showed spurts of being able to fight off an aggressively consistent offensive attack from the Patriots. However, Heritage continued to attack offensively, leading to two more late goals that provided the game’s final tally.

Despite the loss, Johnson is optimistic about the progression of the team through the season.

“They’re coming along,” he said. “They’re playing real hard. They’re playing some really good teams and keeping the scores low. If you look at their record, it doesn’t really speak for their ability. (Tonight) I think our guys played hard. Johnson said. I think they put up a good fight. They played a good team.

Finishing skills and communication were some things Johnson said the team could improve on going forward as Alcovy will get its chance at revenge against Heritage in a few weeks.

“They’re coming to our house in a couple of weeks. We know what we need to work on and who we need to body up against. We will be ready for Heritage.”

In the meantime, the Alcovy boys will look for a momentum building win at home against Region 2-AAAAAA foe Greenbrier Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00 p.m.

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