GREENVILLE — It was a tough day for Greenville’s soccer team, both physically and emotionally.
The Yellow Jackets were beat on the scoreboard by Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 6-1 Monday at Yellow Jacket Stadium, but they were also physically beaten in a physical game that saw many players knocked down with no fouls called by the referee.
However, Greenville coach Chris Hamman wasn’t using the physical play as an excuse.
“We just really didn’t come ready to play soccer,” Hamman said. “I was telling the guys (in the locker room) all the things we worked on in practice disappeared when we stepped on the field.”
The Yellow Jackets (3-13) were down 3-1 at halftime. The Mustangs (9-4) got goals from Ben Cole, Griffin Bowes and Caleb Currie in the first half, but the only Greenville goal was Kyle Farmer on a penalty kick.
“We didn’t pass the ball very well and we didn’t support each other,” Hamman said. “One of the things we worked on was switching the ball to the other side of the field at the point of attack. And what did we try to do? We tried to ram it up the side of the field where all the defense was.”
Currie picked up his second goal to open the half on a pass from Cole, then Jake Gears and Clay Sturgeon finished off the scoring early in the second half.
The lack of offense has Hamman concerned.
“I think the lack of offense goes back to not connecting passes,” he said. “We tend to play too much vertical, straight up the field instead of diagonals. It’s the diagonal balls and runs that are a lot harder for the defense to cover. That’s when you get the keeper looking one direction and the ball is coming in diagonally.”
The six goals NorthPoint Christian put on the Jackets makes it 11 goals against in the last two games that Greenville has played.
“We just make mistakes,” Hamman said. “We were just stepping in and stabbing at the ball, not playing good defense.”
The game saw many players, mainly on the Jackets’ side, get knocked down by hard collisions with the Mustangs.
“There were some times when it was pretty physical,” Hamman said. “We got knocked down a few times out there. But it’s up to the referees’ discretion as to what they allow and if they allow that then it works for both teams. That’s the way it goes.”
Greenville won’t have any time to work on their game, as they will travel to Grand Rapids West Catholic to face the Falcons today.