Bulldawg Soccer concludes season with 1-1 tie against Killeen Kangaroos
By TJ Maxwell
It was not the season that head coach Trent Deans envisioned when the season opened at the start of the New Year, but he is proud of the fight he saw from his team, including Friday night’s 1-1 tie with the Killeen Kangaroos to end their season.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” said Deans. “I’m just so proud of these players for fighting through this year. They never stopped battling. I know it was tough through the first half of district but in the second half, we really started to turn it around and started competing
“When we played Belton, we were down 5-0 at the half but the next time we’re down only 1-0 at the half, so that’s an improvement. The first time we played San Angelo we lost 10-0, the last time we lost 4-0. We’re not winning. I get it and it’s tough, but they kept fighting and battling and every game now is close. It just comes down to all those little things that you think aren’t important, but they are. If we keep working, I know we’re going to find success from it. I know with these kids hard-work and determination, we’re going to get there.”
The Dawgs came out firing early and often with their first attempt on goal coming in the fourth minute on a header attempt by Jaylin Smith.
A corner kick by James Ross and a cross by Caleb Honts to a wide-open Ross just missed their marks.
Honts took his own shot on goal in the 9th minute and a penalty kick by Caden Chapman from 20 yards out was just off the mark on a header attempt by Smith.
Honts had two more attempts on goal in the 12th and 14th minute and James Steele added an attempt shortly thereafter.
The Roos attempted to draw first blood on a penalty kick but goal keeper Noah Quinn notched a save in the 19th minute to keep it a scoreless contest.
Another cross by Honts was again just missed by Smith header attempt but Honts found net in the 31st minute on a cross by Cam Ryan for a 1-0 Cove lead.
Cove threatened a couple more times including a penalty kick by Chapman that sailed high after a trip on Honts.
Honts was charging once again as time expired in the half.
Killeen nearly knotted the game quickly in the second half when a corner kick ricocheted off of the cross bar.
Killeen threatened again on another corner kick and a penalty kick but another save by Quinn kept the Dawgs in control 1-0.
The Dawgs took the action back to the Roos end of the field and threatened to score on a pair of attempts by Steele and a penalty kick by Ross and an attempted header by Smith.
Four consecutive corner kicks by Killeen made for some close moments for the Roos until a corner kick by Ethan Hale was knocked through by Dominic Corozza in the 63rd minute for the 1-1 tie.
Attempts by both teams fell short in the remaining 16 minutes of action for the 1-1 final.
Deans was disappointed with the results but not the effort.
“I know some people focus on the win-loss record, but you realize it starts with steps,” he said. “Every great team starts with steps.”
Deans loses some key players to graduation but feels like the program continues to grow and improve.
“I feel like we’ve got a really good core of sophomores and juniors coming up next year, plus a couple freshmen that are going to be a really big part of this team,” he said. “They want to win and they’re truly are striving for it now and trying to get better every day.”