By Ryan Palencer and Corey Elliot Flyer correspondents
---- — Both the Ben Davis boys’ and girls’ soccer teams fell in sectional play this season, with each squad advancing to the sectional final.
The Ben Davis boys’ soccer team missed its opportunity to put an exclamation mark on a season that had its fair share of ups and downs as they fell to the Pike Red Devils in the sectional final, 4-0.
“I won’t say I’m disappointed, but I do feel we didn’t play to our potential and as a coach I can’t control who is healthy and who is not,” Ben Davis coach Andrew Robinson said. “It’s tough to lose a game. It’s frustrating, but we didn’t play Ben Davis style of soccer. We didn’t show up.”
For the Giants, it was a mixture of missed opportunities on second chance goals and struggles on defense as Ben Davis could not stop Pike’s advance.
“We didn’t have the same intensity,” Rolinson said. “We were lackadaisical and instead of taking it to them we wind up down 2-0 at halftime. I reminded them, ‘you dictate your future — this is your last 40 minutes’ but we didn’t come out to play. We didn’t win 50/50 balls, today just wasn’t our day.”
Facing adversity was an added obstacle this season as the Giants battled injuries and finished the season below .500.
The 2013 season was one that could have been a lot more rewarding for the Giants but the plan moving forward will remain the same as Ben Davis continues to build a culture of winning.
“This season was a season of almost,” Robinson said. “We almost had every game. We outplayed Carmel for the first half when we played them, but we just didn’t finish. We played great soccer but great soccer doesn’t put the ball in the net. Next season needs to be a season of make it happen. We will keep doing what we have been doing even if it doesn’t give us the best results right away.”
Riding a nice second half run, the Ben Davis girls’ soccer team was on quite a roll going into Thursday night’s sectional final on its home field.
However, the Giants ran into a buzz saw in the form of Brebeuf and fell, 7-1.
“These last three weeks have been amazing,” Ben Davis coach Justin VanWyk said. “We went on a nine-game losing streak in the middle of the season. Then we made it to county finals and sectional finals. That’s something to be proud of. We put up 20-plus goals together in our last six games. We turned it on when we needed to and I’m proud of the girls for that.”
After missing on a breakaway shot just eight minutes before, Brebeuf junior Reilly Martin redeemed herself with the opening score of the game on a penalty shot with 26:33 remaining in the first half. The goal for Martin was a sign of things to come, as she tallied four scores on the night.
Martin’s second goal came on a breakaway with 19:09 remaining in the first half to give the Braves a 2-0 advantage going into halftime.
Brebeuf opened the second half scoring as well, with a goal from Shaili Kumar five minutes into the half.
However, the Giants responded with a rebound goal by Taylor McDaniel with 33:29 remaining in the game.
With the progress made this season, VanWyk said he’s excited about the 2014 campaign.
“We do have some skilled players coming back,” he said. “I am glad that we have our keeper back, Audrey Poteet. Caroline Crouch is going to be another big one. She’s a good player with a solid work ethic. Hopefully, we can come together quicker and figure each other out faster next year and have similar results as the end of this season.”