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Avery defender Carson Williams sends a ball downfield in Western Highlands Conference soccer
action. Photo by Skip Sickler



Originally published: 2012-09-19 16:52:39
Last modified: 2012-09-19 16:52:39

Vikings soccer falls at TJCA, ties Hendersonville

Jamie Shell / (sports@averyjournal.com)

Avery men's soccer squared off with a pair of 1A foes as conference competition hits full stride. On Monday, Sept. 10, the Big Red traveled to Avondale to take on Thomas Jefferson Academy. The Gryphons proved too tough to overcome. TJCA took a 4-0 halftime advantage and earned the win by the same 4-0 score.
"Thomas Jefferson did a really good job of moving the ball around on us," said AHS head soccer coach Bruce Daniels. "They're an exceptionally tough team, and was really hard for us to do anything with. We couldn't find an offensive flow and they did a good job of disrupting our passes. Our defense had some trouble with proper marking and they took advantage of us pretty handily."
Two nights later, Avery rode the bus to Hendersonville to take on the rival Bearcats. AHS gave the multiple-time state champions everything it could handle through regulation time. HHS dominated possession in the first half and played strong defense as well, but the Vikings defense refused to fold and neither club could score through the first 80 minutes of the match.
Hendersonville broke the ice with a goal in the 87th minute with a penalty kick by Kyle Hall, giving the Bearcats a 1-0 edge.
Avery found the equalizer in the 96th minute when Matt Balog scored off an assist by Isauro Estrada.
"They pretty well kept the ball on our defensive end and our defense played exceptionally well in the game, particularly in the first half," Daniels added. "It was one of the better matches that I have been a part of. We were able to stay with it and pulled out the tie."
Although the match was not a victory, the Vikings showed resilience in knotting the match rather than accepting defeat and expects the performance to serve as a step in the continued improvement of this year's club.
"Everyone in our conference is vastly improved from what I've seen and what other coaches have told me. The level of play seems to be coming up across the board," Daniels explained. "The conference season is going to continue to be tough, but we expected that. It's just a matter of us sticking with it and staying sharp and trying to give a good, solid effort every night."
Avery hosted Polk earlier this week and travels to Madison this Wednesday, Sept. 19.