Daviess County suffered their first loss of the season 2-1 in their morning match against Oldham County Saturday as hosts of the Panther Classic. The Panthers rallied to win the evening game against Simon Kenton 5-0.
DC had chances throughout the game against Oldham County, but they couldn’t find the net with any shots in the first half. They trailed 1-0 at the half, and the Colonels netted their second goal by punching in a shot that bounced of the crossbar.
Jacob Boling scored with 3 minutes to play and the Panthers attacked furiously at the end, but they ran out of time before they could get an equalizer. Head coach Doug Sandifer said his team struggled, but didn’t take away from the athleticism of the opponent.
“It was a good team we played,” he said. “I think we were both affected by the heat. We didn’t play well in the first half. I didn’t think some guys were here mentally, and it showed.”
Sandifer said he was glad the Panthers face some adversity against a quality team, and they had to move on quickly before their night game.
“It’s the kind of game we needed,” he said. “We need to be challenged and pushed. But you learn from it and move on. You can’t do anything over.”
It didn’t take too long to move on, as the Panthers rolled to a comfortable 5-1 victory over the Simon Kenton in the final game of the night. Shaking off the frustrations of the morning loss, early goals and a solid defensive effort made for a quick return to winning ways.
Boling again got the Panthers started on offense, this time with a pair of goals within 2 minutes of each other only 10 minutes into the game. The first score came from a lobbed through ball from Max Miller, and Boling took one measured touch before chipping the keeper and sending the ball into the back of the net. Moments later, Boling received a pass from Declan Sandifer just in front of the goal for an easy tap-in.
Hunter Clark found his way onto the scoresheet 9 minutes later after a ricocheted save bounced his way on the edge of the 6-yard box. The rest of the half was primarily focused on maintaining possession and playing solid defense, which helped to preserve a three-goal lead at the break.
With 24 minutes remaining in the game, Brian Winkler slotted a long cross into the box, where Clark wasted no time in scoring his second goal by burying the ball into the bottom right corner. Winkler added a score of his own 10 minutes later for the final goal for the Panthers.
The Pioneers manage to get on the board with just under 9 minutes remaining to end all scoring. The goal did spoil a clean sheet for the Daviess County, but Doug Sandifer said his team was happy with the final scoreline.
“In both halves, we came out with a chip on our shoulder — a little bit ticked off after this morning — and scored a couple goals,” Sandifer said. “We probably went through the motions a little bit in the late minutes, but we had some heavy legs after a long, hot day, so we’ll take it. With a win tonight, we can go home feeling a little bit better about the day.”
Still, Sandifer said his team is nowhere near where they want to be by the end of the year. He said the Panthers need to play a more up-tempo style, with the key being quick passes and getting someone on the end of every crossed ball.
“Today, in both games, we served several balls into the box before our runners got there,” he said. “We aren’t anticipating crosses and making runs to get where we need to be. We are keeping possession, but I still want us to move the ball faster. I think we are capable of that.”
Daviess County will be back in action a 7 p.m. on Tuesday as they play host to Madisonville North-Hopkins.