NEW MARKET — It was a 4-0 conference loss for Southmont’s boys soccer team, but the squad used the night preparing for the sectional tournament coming up next week.
“We had (leading striker) Hunter Gray out,” Mounties coach Steph Kennedy said. “We had to move some guys into new positions, and in a couple places, it worked well. Hunter was cleared to start practice again (Wednesday) so we might be able to use him a little (Thursday) against WeBo or for sure have him back for the sectional.”
Without Gray, and combined with an efficient Tigers attack, there were very few scoring chances for the Mounties, who fall to 2-12-1 for the season and 1-6 in the Sagamore.
The home squad could manage only six shots on Lebanon goal keeper Jorge Matagon, who had the clean sheet as his team moves to 6-7-1 on the season and finishes their conference season at 4-3.
“We lost two early conference games to Crawfordsville and Frankfort, and that kind of set us back early,” said Tigers coach Scott Milam. “We’ve been playing pretty well the last 4-5 games. I hope we can use this win as a confidence builder for our sectional.”
The Tigers got three goals from Altin Emerliahu, as the junior found the net twice in the first half and scored the only goal of the second.
Joel Acton picked up two assists on Emerliahu goals, and Eli Young got the third assist.
Ali Almolhem had the fourth goal, coming late in the first half on an assist from Eli Young.
The Mounties also split goal keeping time, as Paul Hazlett was in the net for the first half and Marshall Little was minding in the second half.
“We wanted to give Marshall some conference game time,” Kennedy said of the junior. “We used a lot of guys in new spots, and I think it will help pay off next week. Josh Troutman also had a really good night for us. He was great on the back line defending and brought a really strong role to the back line.”
Both coaches spoke of how the match was a good test for the postseason, as both teams head into action next Monday.
The Tigers are in 3A, and will play Kokomo in Marion. They have one last match against No. 3 Center Grove Thursday.
The Mounties are at Western Boone Thursday, before heading to Danville next week and a Monday matchup with the host Warriors.