St. Joe comes out flat, falls 3-1 to Oak Hill
HUNTINGTON -- Oak Hill out-worked Huntington St. Joe, 3-1, in a Tuesday evening boys soccer match at the YMCA Kennedy Center.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Irish.
St. Joe seemed to come out flat, and head coach Chuck Karnes noted the inability of the team to string passes together or build up any offensive consistency.
"I don't know what happened," Karnes said. "These guys were unorganized all day and put their heads down when we got a goal down."
Oak Hill seemed to get off to a slow start of a different sort, not putting enough punch on passes on the slow, tall grass field at the Kennedy Center, and having to adjust to the conditions.
The Red Devils took a 2-0 lead in the first half off of two strong individual efforts.
The first came in the 16th minute, when striker Jacob Kemlock made a long run into the box, and didn't give up on the ball even as St. Joe looked to knock it out of the box. Kemlock was able to keep possession on the left side of the goal, and move the ball back toward the center where he knocked it past keeper Paul Dransfeld.
Jonathan Hardman grabbed the second goal in the 28th minute, streaking past defenders down the right side of the pitch and sending a low liner from the edge of the box that found the back of the net on the far post side.
But the Red Devils started slow again in the second half, allowing St. Joe to get some offensive pressure and eventually resulting in a penalty kick in the 52nd minute off of an Irish corner kick.
Brian Conaty took the shot for the Irish, and easily hammered it past Oak Hill keeper Brett Garris.
Red Devils head coach Kyle Kent was yelling for some more intensity from his team, and the penalty seemed to wake them up.
"I've noticed my team tends to start halves sloppy," Kent said after the match. "No matter what I say, they come out slow. Once they get settled down and get going, they tend to play the type of soccer we've been playing for the last week-and-a-half, where we possess the ball and move it well and get shots."
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last four matches, with three wins and a tie.
"We've started playing some good soccer," Kent said. "We need to do it for 80 minutes, not 60, not 70, but we're coming around."
Oak Hill hadn't yet managed a shot in the second half before allowing the penalty kick. After that, the Red Devils took total control of the match.
Hardman finished out the scoring in the 61st minute, after a penalty was called on St. Joe for a collision inside the box.
The striker put the penalty kick in with ease, and St. Joe only managed to get one shot off in the final 20 minutes.
The contest took a bit of a nasty turn for the Irish when some St. Joe players began jawing at their own coaches and teammates.
Karnes said he was not impressed with the behavior.
"Players get down on themselves when they're down in a game and not playing well," Karnes said. "I think they're just looking for someone to blame instead of stepping up and playing harder.
"I don't condone that. I don't like anybody crying, talking on the field to their own players trying to beat them down -- it doesn't help the cause any. It does more damage to team unity than helping it. There will definitely be some talks going on about that."
St. Joe is now 9-6-1 on the season, while Oak Hill is 4-6-2.
OAK HILL 2 1 -- 3
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 1 1 -- 1
OH -- Kemlock, 16th minute.
OH -- Hardman, 28th minute.
St.J -- Conaty (pk) 52nd minute.
OH -- Hardman (pk) 61st minute.
Shots: OH 23 (7 on goal), St.J 11 (5 on goal). Saves: OH 6 (Garris), St.J 4 (Dransfeld). Corners: OH 4, St.J 1.