CLAYTON – His team lost 6-1 to Northmont on Thursday, but Greenville boys soccer coach Mark Coppess said the Green Wave played one of their best games of the year in the sectional tournament contest.
Greenville had some defensive mistakes that allowed Northmont to score its goals, Coppess said, but that didn’t take away from what he viewed as a strong performance by the Wave.
“I thought that was probably one the best we’ve played as far as offensively moving the ball,” Coppess said. “Defensively we allowed some mistakes. They moved the ball. They were quick in the final third, in our defensive third, and we struggled a little bit there tonight. But overall I think that was probably one of our better performances this year.”
Northmont scored the night’s first goal eight-and-a-half minutes into the game with Noah Teague putting the Thunderbolts up 1-0.
Teague scored again nine minutes later to extend the Northmont lead to 2-0. Then with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half Haakon Kvamme scored to make it 3-0 in favor of the T-Bolts.
Four minutes into the second half Greenville got on the scoreboard with a goal by Mac Kirk, cutting the Green Wave deficit to 3-1.
“That was our plan tonight, was put a lot of pressure on them offensively, and we did,” Coppess said.
Greenville couldn’t get any closer, though, and midway through the second half Teague scored his third goal of the game to give him a hat trick and push Northmont’s lead back to three goals.
With four-and-a-half minutes remaining Kvamme scored his second goal of the night, and one minute later Justin Menker scored to give Northmont a 6-1 victory.
Thursday’s loss in the second round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament ended Greenville’s season. The Wave went 8-7-3 in Coppess’ first year leading the program.
“The year was far better than I expected,” Coppess said. “I’m very, very happy with how it turned out, the players that we ended with, the awards we got for the players. I’m tickled to death. I’m really excited about the way it ended, and I’m ready for next year.”
The loss also marked the end of the high school soccer careers of Greenville seniors AJ Frens, Jack Garland, Austin Grote, Mac Kirk, Folger Pyles, Josh Smith and Dalton Walls.
“It was a great group to come in with,” Coppess said. “As far as my first year in as a head coach they helped smooth that transition with the team, with the school. As far as leaders you can’t get any better leaders than that group of seniors. I couldn’t ask for a better senior group than I had this year.”