The Harrison County Thorobreds soccer season got under way Thursday evening as the 2013 edition battled the alumni team.
This year’s alumni group had a mixture of experience and youth as players such as Charles Honeycutt, Cody Honeycutt, Austin Lail, Isaac Whalen, Josh Young, Chris Bowlin, Ben Anness, Petey Reynolds, Peanut Switzer, Duncan Bell, Ethan Smith and D.A. Wiglesworth participated in the fray.
A good crowd was on hand at LeBus Field to see what is usually a good test for the Thorobreds.
The Breds started slowly as they were feeling out the opponent and its mix of youth and veterans.
“After a while the players realized that they were really going to have to pick it up against this group,” said Coach Nick Hill. “Both goal keepers, Christian Carey for the Breds and Duncan Bell for the alumni team, made some good saves to keep the other team from getting on the board.”
The game was divided into four 15-minute quarters instead of the standard two 40-minute halves to allow for more coaching opportunities according to Hill.
“We also wanted to give the older guys a chance to catch their breath,” Hill added with a chuckle.
Hill was happy with the effort and with the crowd.
“I thought this was a good starter game, which will help us get into the flow for the regular season,” he concluded. “I appreciate the alumni team coming to play and the crowd that came to watch us.”
Tuesday’s match with Bluegrass United was anything but a walk in the park as the Lexington-based team was fast, physical and talented pushing the Breds for the entire match.
The Thorobreds took an early lead with 28:12 left in the half as Grant Carr sailed a shot across the front of the goal and Gus Garrison buried in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Bluegrass United was the aggressor on offense for the biggest part of the first half and they knotted the score at 1 goal each with 10:59 yet to play in the opening stanza.
This goal was on a direct free kick from just outside the box.
Goal keeper Carey was under fire for the rest of the half making several nice saves but the visitors put another in goal with just over a minute left in the half for a 2-1 half time advantage.
“We seemed to relax after we scored the first goal,” lamented Hill. “It was too easy and they played too well for us to let up at all.”
Only 10 minutes were gone in the second half when Carr again sailed the ball across the front of the goal area and Jared Bell booted it into the goal to tie the score at 2 goals each.
The Thorobreds kept the ball on the Bluegrass United goal keeper’s doorstep for the next five to seven minutes with shot after shot being fired in the direction of the net.
Finally, with 15:45 to play, Logan Wiley kicked one from right in front of the goal to put the Breds ahead for good at 3-2.
Both teams had a few more chances but the goal keepers for both squads managed to keep the ball in front of them.
“We showed a lot of heart coming back like we did,” Hill told his team after the match. “It is difficult to come back like this against a quality team like we faced tonight.”
The Breds will begin regular season play next Tuesday in the second game of the first night of the Thorobreds Classic.
Harrison County will face Holy Cross after Bourbon County faces off with Bishop Brossart in the first game at 6 p.m. The Classic continues on Thursday and Saturday with the Breds meeting Brossart on Thursday and Bourbon County on Saturday.