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Comets fall short in conference bid
SoVaNow.com / May 28, 2014The Comets boys soccer team faltered in its bid to upset a strong Albemarle team in a 4-0 loss Monday in South Boston in Conference 16 championship action.
Halifax County High School varsity boys soccer will now focus on its Region 5-A north opener Friday.
The Comets will be in an elimination game.
Halifax played competitive soccer for a while, but the Patriots eventually pulled away.
“We knew Albemarle was going to be a good possession team. We played right with them the first half and really, had some better quality opportunities to score in the first half,” Comet head coach Frank Shealy said,
“Isak (Schafer) made a great save and it rebounded right to (a Patriot). The guy made a great shot in the first half. I think that goal kind of hurt us a little bit,” said Shealy.
“We were still in it. We had opportunities. When we came out for the second half, we had talked about what we needed to do, as far as moving the ball forward and attacking and marking up defensively and all that. They came out and scored two really quick. Those were honestly the result of us coming out flat and not really ready to play,” said Shealy.
Shealy said Shafer played his heart out and recorded some great saves, but it was not enough. He kept HCHS in contention. AHS kept the ball on the Comet side the whole second half and “it was all we could do to sort of thwart their attack.”
Halifax had four shots on goal. The Comets got 11 saves from Shafer. Halifax had three corner kicks.
AHS had 19 shots on goal, one keeper save and 14 corner kicks.
Albemarle head coach Jeff Balnave paid tribute to this Comet team.
“I’m blown away. I used to play for Albemarle a long time ago and Halifax has made huge improvements in the time I played until now. They’ve got some very skilled players and I think they’re organized and hard working. They fight for each other. A team like that going’s to do a lot of damage, and good luck to them,” said the AHS coach.
The Pats are 15-3.
Albemarle and HCHS battled to a scoreless first half, until the visitors scored with about 30 seconds left before intermission.
“The first half was a tight one. It was close. It was pretty evenly matched. Halifax created some good chances early on. We were worried about their speed up top, and we were able to get (a score) right before halftime, which was critical in the game,” said the AHS coach.
Griffin Coffey scored for the Patriots.
In the second half, senior Patriot captain Zach Mayo scored twice early on corner kicks. “Those two goals right away gave us a lot of confidence, and on a hot day like today, it was enough to see us through,” said Balnave.
Halifax had some opportunties early, but AHS took command later.
“I was looking forward to this competition to see where we were. The first half was a true measure that we can play with these northern teams,” said Shealy.
HCHS will continue on with regional play.
“Having an opportunity to win a conference championship was there and in our sights through the first half. We kind of lost sight of it in the second half,” said Shealy.
Shealy subbed late and said he will try to clean up some issues in practice this week. It’s also the first time in Shealy’s 13-year tenure Comet boys soccer has reached the regionals.
“The guys have played great. We’ve had a great season, but we don’t want it to end. We want to end one on Friday,” said Shealy.
HCHS is now 13-4-2.
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