Posted: Monday, October 5, 2015 9:47 pm | Updated: 10:01 pm, Mon Oct 5, 2015.
By AARON KENNEDY email@example.com
KOKOMO – The Rossville boys’ soccer team had its season come to a close Monday, losing 4-2 to the Taylor Titans in the first round of the Northview Class A Sectional.
“It is a tough loss as always in a last game in a sectional. I wish we could have gone a little farther. I thought we were evenly matched with Taylor. The times that we went to the ball and went after it, we dominated. The times that they went after it, they dominated. That is what it really came down to. Whichever team went after it the most is the one that ended up winning.”
The Hornets allowed all four Taylor goals in the first half with two finding the back of the net in the first six minutes.
Allan Winburn scored the first goal of the night two minutes and 40 seconds into the opening half. Five-and-a-half minutes later, Taylor junior Hunter Stephens made it a 2-0 lead for the Titans.
“(There were) a couple miscommunications and not getting marked up as tight as we need to,” Rossville head coach Joel Wilson said. “They have a couple guys who are talented with the ball. They are dangerous, but we have to watch the guy without the ball. A couple of those goals, we didn’t quite get marked up as we should have.”
Rossville freshman Kelton Saylor got the Hornets on the board and back into the match with an unassisted goal with 23:56 left in the opening half, but Winburn scored with a header on a Taylor corner kick to push the margin back to two scores.
The Hornets appeared to be headed to halftime with a 3-1 lead, but Taylor drew a penalty kick with just 10.8 seconds remaining, and senior forward Yusei Asami made his shot to give the Titans a three-goal advantage at the break.
Goalkeeper David Taylor made several saves in the first 10 minutes of the second half to keep the Titans from extending their lead, and senior forward Griffey Saylor scored on an assist from Bailey Spear to cut the gap to two goals, at 4-2, with 18:43 remaining to play.
Griffey Saylor set his new school record for goals in a career at 52 with the score.
Kelton Saylor got a good look close to the goal and in the middle of the field with 12:10 remaining, but Taylor keeper Jordan Maroney made a diving save to prevent the Hornets from cutting the lead to a single goal.
Rossville was never able to manufacture two goals to tie in the final minutes. The clock ran out, and the Hornets were eliminated from the postseason with the 4-2 loss.
“It was a good season,” Wilson said. “We finished 8-7-1, so it was a winning season. We played a lot of young players this year, and they got a lot of experience. It is always difficult to get into a rhythm when you have young guys playing so much. The times we did get in a rhythm, I think we were a very solid team, and we could compete with anybody. We just didn’t always have that rhythm for the full 80 minutes. I think that was the difference in a lot of games.
“All-in-all, it was very positive,” he added. “My seniors played great. Griffey (Saylor) continued to score throughout the season like we asked and got the all-time career goals (record) which is awesome. Bailey (Spear) had the most assists for our team, so those guys really stepped up. Jayden Rosen – you couldn’t ask anything more from a defender. You don’t get a lot of glory as a defender, but he is our backbone back there. He made the difference in a lot of games.”
The Hornets return in 2016 minus eight seniors.