Wind, Greenwood Christian too much for Hauser

INDIANAPOLIS — The Hauser boys soccer team was able to hang with Class A No. 12 Greenwood Christian Academy for most of the first half of Saturday’s sectional final match at Indianapolis Lutheran, but there was no upset to be had.

The Cougars took the lead in the 37th minute and padded it by scoring a pair of goals with the wind at their backs early in the second half and coasted to a 4-1 victory.

Greenwood Christian (14-3-1) advances to the Knightstown Regional on Saturday.

“The wind was the definite advantage,” Hauser coach Andy Hunnicut said. “We didn’t use it enough in the first half, and they used it quite well in the second half. That’s the difference in the game, really.”

With that wind behind them, the Jets (4-7-3) were able to move the ball into Cougar territory numerous times early, but those advances didn’t bear much fruit. The lone shot on goal Hauser mustered in the first 30 minutes was on a long poke from nearly 40 yards out.

Meanwhile, Greenwood Christian kept the ball primarily on the ground and had a handful of dangerous opportunities on counterattacks. Griffin Huizinga fed a couple of through balls to Styles McCorkle that produced shots, but one went wide and another was smothered by Hauser netminder Kameron Lawson, who also saved a hard shot from Huizinga in the 13th minute.

The Cougars finally broke through in the 19th minute when Jack Kovacs settled a wide free kick and served it in toward the right goalpost, where Huizinga was waiting to head it home.

After an apparent second goal by Huizinga later in the half was waved off due to an offsides call, the Jets finally took advantage of the elements to tie the game. Andrew Titus hammered a free kick from almost 50 yards away that sailed just high enough to evade the grasp of Greenwood Christian keeper Gabe Vessely and bounced into the net in the 35th minute.

The score remained even for a whopping 89 seconds. Huizinga chipped a free kick from 25 yards over the Hauser wall toward the goal mouth, where Daniel Wilson emerged from a crowd and poked the ball past Lawson.

Once the teams changed directions after the break, the Cougars had little trouble putting the match away. McCorkle cashed in on a Kovacs cross in the 43rd minute, and Josue Muir scored exactly 10 minutes later to make it 4-1. The Jets never threatened after that.

Despite the defeat, Hunnicut was pleased with what he got this season from a team with just four seniors.

“We went from being what we thought was going to be a very experienced squad to a very inexperienced squad, but we were still in most games,” he said. “To make it to the sectional final, even with our record, is an accomplishment, and I’m very proud of them.”