Spring Valley takes soccer doubleheader
SPRING VALLEY -- The Spring Valley boys and girls soccer teams took victories Tuesday against Huntington St. Joe in a doubleheader that marked the last regular season home appearances for the Timberwolves.
Both games were close, with the Spring Valley girls winning, 1-0, and the boys outlasting the Irish, 2-1.
The girls game began in the pleasant warmth of the evening, and was a contest Spring Valley probably should have won by three or four goals, out-shooting St. Joe, 29-6.
But only one of those 29 shots found the back of the net -- a ball that found the feet of Emily Rhodes after being deflected around the St. Joe box. Rhodes put the shot past keeper Rachel Lee in the early minutes of the second half.
Rhodes had several attempts on goal, and Spring Valley controlled the possession and pace of the game, but couldn't find the net on shots, allowing St. Joe to make a late push in the second half that could have knotted the game up.
While the Irish pressured, they only managed one shot in the second half, which came in the 71st minute and didn't threaten the goal.
"It was a lot closer than we wanted to be," Spring Valley girls coach Todd Smith said. "If their passing and moving the way I want them to, I'll take that because the goals will come. We were getting good shots."
After the girls cleared the field at about 7:45 p.m., long-sleeve shirts were swapped out for traditional jerseys, and some knit caps could be seen on players and referees as temperatures nose-dived and the boys took the field at 8 p.m.
The second game was a more balanced affair where shots were hard to come by, and St. Joe's bread and butter, the counter attack, caught the Timberwolves off guard.
Spring Valley was attempting to move the ball out of the defensive half when the Timberwolves turned it over. The ball slid to Fighting Irish midfielder Kevin Reger who sent a dipping shot from outside the box on the right side of the goal that got past keeper Jared Messer and settled into the left corner of the net about halfway through the first half.
Spring Valley equalized a minute later, when a handball gave the Timberwolves a free kick just outside the box in St. Joe's defensive half.
Senior Chris Holland drove a shot from the left side of the goal past St. Joe keeper Torin Walters to level the match.
Holland was involved in another goal in the waning minutes of the first half.
The senior served up a corner kick to defender Austin Jones, who put the ball past Walters for the go-ahead, and, as it would turn out, winning goal.
The Irish put up a fierce attack in the second half, and the possession and passing Spring Valley had executed with precision through most of the contest began to fall apart.
"It's kind of typical of our team this season," said Spring Valley boys coach Scott Maddox. "We have periods of time where we play really well, and play pretty soccer, and then at times, we fall asleep. We have the tools to be a good team and put together a little run here when sectionals start, but it depends on which team shows up."
Maddox said he was proud of his team's effort, and Holland's performance.
"He's been started for three-plus years, he's our motor," Maddox said. "When a play needs to happen, Chris is usually the one who steps up and makes it."
The St. Joe boys team showed fight right down to the final seconds, and Maddox said that was no surprise.
"They're a good opponent, and, regardless of what your records are, it's always going to be a tough game," he said. "I think they're very well coached and they always do a good job."
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 0 0 -- 0
SPRING VALLEY 0 1 -- 1
SV -- Rhodes, 46th minute.
Shots: SJ 6 (3 on net), SV 29 (13 on net). Saves: SJ 12 (Rachel Lee) SV 2 (Hannah Smith). Corners: SJ 2, SV 4.
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 1 0 -- 1
SPRING VALLEY 2 0 -- 2
SJ -- Reger, 21st minute.
SV -- Holland, 22nd minute.
SV -- Jones (Holland) 37th minute.
Shots: SJ 7 (4 on net), SV 10 (8 on net). Saves: SJ 6 (Torin Walters), SV 3 (Jared Messer). Corners: SJ 5, SV 5.