Cowboys tie-up Streaks
Allen Moody | Highlands TodaySEBRING Monday's match between Sebring and LaBelle may not have been important in the grand scheme of things, as it was a non-district encounter, but you'd never know from the action at Firemen's Field. Both teams battled for all 80 minutes and the two ended with a 1-all tie.
Published: November 14, 2012
Published: November 14, 2012
"It was a pretty rough game," said Sebring coach Keith Bowyer. "I thought we matched up well against them. Both teams played their heart out."
The Cowboys had plenty of talented players, giving the Blue Streaks a solid workout before Tuesday's district home match with Winter Haven and a tough road test on Thursday at Auburndale.
"They're like a district-level team," said Sebring goalkeeper Ethan Smith. "We knew it was going to be tough and we fought well."
The Blue Streaks used the match to blend in some players who just finished with fall sports, making it their first game action of the season.
"We're all clear from cross-country and football so we had everybody tonight," Smith said. "That really helped. We had fresh legs and we have a rough week."
Bowyer said it will take a little bit of time for several of the players to go from cross-country shape to soccer shape.
"I have to rebuild their sprints first," he said. "I told them not to pace themselves, just run hard."
Both teams had several scoring chances in the first half, but both goalkeepers came up with nice saves to keep the match scoreless.
Brian Dixon had Sebring's best chance, as he got behind the Cowboys' defense 25 minutes into the match, but the Streaks couldn't capitalize.
Ten minutes later Dixon did put the Blue Streaks on the board and Sebring led 1-0 at the half.
The Cowboys came out strong in the second half and were able to tie the score with 30 minutes remaining in the match.
The two teams traded scoring chances for the remainder of the match, with Smith making a big save in the final five minutes to preserve the tie.
"I like games like that," Smith said of all the action he saw.
The Blue Streaks are now 2-1-1, but more importantly, 2-0 in district play.
"I'm ecstatic where the team's at right now," Bowyer said. "I think we're already where we were at the end of last season and we're only four games into a 22-game season."
Smith said one big difference between this year's team and last year's team is that this year's team is able to communicate with each other.
"We really have a sixth sense," he said. "We don't have to say, 'hey, let's go make a run,' because we kind of read each other's mind."
Smith also believes that his defense is really strong this season.
"We have a good group of guys this year," he said. "They play smart."
Bowyer said he didn't have any complaints with the way things were going and he was looking forward to watching them continue to improve over the course of the season.
"The guys are doing great and I'm really proud of them right now," he said.
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