Byron no match for Austin in Section Semi-finals
The Byron boys soccer season came to an end in a resounding way with an 8-1 loss at Austin Tuesday night.
Byron Head Coach Dave Bahr said the Bears had to contend with a brisk wind for most of the first half, which made it difficult to move the ball out of its own end and clearing balls had a tendency to go out the end line for a corner kick instead of out the side line for a throw in.
In additions to the windy weather, the Austin Packers also made life difficult for the Bears.
“Austin employed a relentless pressure defense that combined with conditions made for a very long first half,” he said.
He noted that Byron goalkeeper Caleb Koza was able to parry many of the shots, but at the 20 minute mark a Byron defender cleared a ball off the goal line into the back of another player and it ricocheted into the goal for an own goal.
Ten minutes later, a corner kick ended on the goal line and the Bears had trouble clearing it while Austin’s Jose Valladares put it in for a 2-0 lead.
The half ended at 2-0 and Bahr said the hope was that the wind would favor Byron in the second half but it had died down by then.
The wheels came off the wagon in the second half when Austin put in three goals in the first 13 minutes of the second half.
After that, he said both teams began putting in the bench players and Austin added three more goals in the final few minutes. For the game, Austin outshot Byron 14-2.
“Austin showed the reason they were in the state tournament the last three years and this will be going to state again this year after betting Lourdes in the section final,” he said.
Byron ends the season with a 12-5 record and won the HVL Conference for the first time ever! The Bears graduate five seniors: Adam Krakora, Andy Lambrecht, Sajon Page, Andrew Winters and Josh Heinz. On the bright side, there are eight starters returning including six sophomores.
Bahr said Byron now understands what it takes to get to the next level and will focus on making that happen next year.