INDIANAPOLIS — Over the past three years, the Danville boys’ soccer team has sustained three tough losses against Covenant Christian. Saturday afternoon, Danville defeated its nemesis 1-0 to win its third game in as many contests this week.
Danville senior midfielder Turner Perkins scored the lone goal of the contest in the 49th minute, giving his team a lead it did not relinquish.
Perkins’ goal from the left side rolled into the side netting on the opposite side of the frame. Danville freshman midfielder Christian Mason made the goal possible As Covenant goalkeeper Steven Watson came out to challenge Mason’s shot, Danville’s first on goal, Perkins deposited the rebound.
“In big games like this, you have to take anything you can get, especially against a great team like Covenant,” Perkins said. “They played their hearts out, and they got to the state championship game last year. We knew it was going to be a big test and we knew we had to take our opportunities when we got them.
“Luckily, we did that today.”
Danville coach Drew Brokamp, in his second season at the helm, told his team at halftime to keep working hard.
“I told ‘em, ‘You’ll probably get one opportunity and we had to put it away,’” he said. “That’s exactly what we did. We had to give it everything we have for 40 more minutes. This is our third game this week. I told ‘em to leave it all out there and then they had two days off. That’s exactly what they did.”
Covenant had some people out of place, but coach Michael Johnson did not make excuses for his team, and said Danville outplayed them.
Johnson started sophomore Keaton Joseph in the midfield, as junior midfielder Jeremiah Rader missed the game due to strep throat. Junior forward Zach Towle played back to replace Rader.
“Danville wanted to win today,” Johnson said. “I think we just settled for just coming out to work hard. (We) didn’t work on the things we talked about working on, and we’re getting the same results.”
Johnson said his team did not communicate well and also got lazy a bit, not stringing passes together, but instead “hitting a long ball and hoping we can get lucky with speed.”
“At halftime, we emphasized that,” Johnson said. “We didn’t start doing that until the last five minutes.”
Danville senior goalkeeper Zach Blankenship made five saves to earn the shutout.
Perkins said it was a big step up for the program.
“It’s huge for us,” he said. “They’re a great team. We respect ‘em greatly. They’re a great opponent. It’s awesome for us. We definitely think we’ve improved from last season. This is just another step in that direction.”