In its season home opener last night, the Bay boys soccer team played some pretty solid defense in a scoreless halftime tie with St. Edward.
The scoring opportunities for the young Rockets were few and far between. That made Robert Daggett’s two second-half goals seem like Mt. Everest as the Eagles’ junior forward led his team to a 2-0 win at Memorial Stadium.
“That’s where we’re raw,” admitted Bay head coach Bob Dougherty, who used 20 players throughout the game.
“I think coming out of the back, we’re finally starting to settle in,” Dougherty said. “We feel good, we’re alright. But with the scoring opportunities we had, we’ve got to be able to put something away.
“We got a couple of restarts, a couple flicks and some other stuff, but nothing. Their goal: muck, muck, ball drops, Daggett turns, the keeper’s out and they get that goal. Three minutes later, we had the same exact ball over there: ball drops, gets knocked around the six, drops at our feet and we swing and miss it.
“They clear it out...we get punished for it and they didn’t. We’re able to play, we just haven’t figured out how to put a team away yet,” he added.
Late in the first half, the Rockets had a pair of opportunities late but came up shot. Senior forward Jack Barnes got out in the clear and found himself one-on-one with St. Edward keeper Stuart Ford, but Ford made the save on the 10-yard attempt in the 37th minute.
In the final minute on a breakaway attempt, Ford was up to the task on a wide shot that went long. Then in the 10th minute of the second half, a header off a sideline restart went wide right. Bay maintain possession and had a pair of throw ins during that minute, but the Eagles cleared the zone.
Then at 26:32 left in the game, Daggett got off a shot to the left of the Rocket goal. With Rocket keeper Koray Sayir out, the ball deflected a bit off a defender, hit the far post and rolled in despite the attempt of the Bay defender to reach it.
Daggett’s second goal came with 8:42 left to play when he fired a longer shot just to Sayir’s right. The rockets had just one more shot attempt from long range in the 78th minute, but ford went up high to maintain the shutout.
“You get some opportunities, you’ve got to put them on frame and put them away,” Dougherty said. “Right now, we’re just trying to get our rhythm. We don’t have a good rhythm yet, and I think that’s still going to take a couple of weeks for us.
“Both games we’ve played were winnable games. You get the opportunity to take the lead or get back into a game but can’t convert. But St. Ed’s was in this same position last year where they were in the game and just trying to figure out how to win.
“You look at it maturity wise, they’re a year ahead of us. Last year, we figured out how to beat them. As this goes through, hopefully we’ll figure it out before the season ends,” he added.
Next on the schedule for the Rockets: a road trip to Columbus DeSales on Saturday night.