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Somber senior night as teams lose to BEHS

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By John Shindlebower

The Spencer County boys and girls soccer teams have bid their formal farewell to seniors, but they’ve still got a few games left in the season, including opening games of their district tournament that begins next Monday night.

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The squads took a few moments last Thursdsay to honor their seniors between games. For the boys, the ceremony came on the heels of a disappointing 8-1 loss to Bullitt East. Senior Jamie Fleig scored the lone goal for the Bears in the first half, but the visiting Chargers pulled away in the second period for the win.

Fleig was joined by fellow seniors Logan Lee and Brian Garcia as each was presented with framed jerseys. Senior girls honored included Melanie Smith, Casandra Petersen, Kori Lurie, Christi Shindlebower and Shelby Pfiefer.

In the girls’ game, Pfiefer got the Bears started with a 1-0 lead in the first half, but Bullitt East quickly answered with a tying goal. The visitors added one more goal in the second half and held on for the victory.

For the girls, the loss was a hard one to take, but Coach Stephanie Price said it was somewhat refreshing to see the girls so disappointed, suggesting that was a sign they’re beginning to really care.

While a modest 3-6-2 record doesn’t suggest a lot of success, Price said there has been improvement.

“I had high expectations coming into the season,” said Price, who admitted that as a first-year coach, she didn’t really have a means to compare this year’s squad to last season’s.

However, she said following some games, opposing coaches and even some referees have commented that they see something new in Spencer County soccer. She hopes that trend will continue.

Price said one of the biggest obstacles facing the program has been the low number of girls playing soccer, but she hopes that will change in coming years. She said the girls at the high school level will also need to make a stronger commitment.

Towards that end, Price hopes some of the returning players next year will participate in indoor soccer over the winter and she’s hoping to initiate a training program for the girls to begin in November.

But Price said this year’s squad still has an opportunity to accomplish something that hasn’t been done in recent history - a Spencer County win in the district tournament.

On Monday the Lady Bears will host the opening game of the district when they take on Shelby County. The girls lost to the Lady Rockets 4-0 earlier in the season, but Price said an upset is not out of the question.

“They’re beatable,” she said. And a win Monday would be an even sweeter send-off for the seniors than the one they got on Thursday.

For the boys, their season record stands a 4-10-2 but in recent weeks, Coach Chris Price said the team has gained more confidence and has reached the point of believing they can compete with anybody.

“The kids are positive. They are optimistic every single game and they have a winning attitude,” he said.

Last season, the team was mercy ruled six or seven times. The Bears have cut that number down tremendously, despite playing in what may be the toughest district in the entire state.

“Their mindset has changed this season,” said Price. He said they go onto the field believing they can compete, and more often than not - they do just that.

One of the highlights of the season for Price was a 3-3 tie they had at Frankfort. He said Frankfort’s a tough team and the Bears actually led 3-1 late in the game before surrendering two late scores. He said that gave the Bears a lot of confidence.

The Bears will have a chance to put that confidence to the test on Monday when they open up their district postseason against Oldham County in Shelbyville.