With the holiday on Monday, the Covington soccer team had only two games this past week and the Trojans won both of them.
On Tuesday, the team hosted Crawfordsville and fell behind before most of the fans had parked their cars and reached their seats, giving up a goal in the second minute of the contest.
“We came out flat again,” Covington head coach Ryan Sowers said, “but we got one back to tie it up just a few minutes later.”
Rico Mandolini fed Logan Pinkerton in the seventh minute for the tying score, but after that, no one could find the back of the goal for another 70 minutes.
The visiting Athenians seemed to have the better individual skills, including an excellent goalkeeper, but the Trojans seemed to have the better team organization on the field.
This was shown as Crawfordville would repeatedly make runs down the field only to run into a solid Covington defense anchored by Logan Herzog and Brydan Gaskill who made sure the Athenians would run into a wall of players as they neared the Trojan goal.
Covington had several chances to score but saw the Crawfordsville keeper grab or punch the ball for a save, but in the 77th minute, Mandolin fed Pinkerton who got a light touch on the ball as he was breaking toward the goal and the shot trickled into the goal to give the Trojans a 2-1 win.
“I was excited to see our team pull out a win when we weren’t on top of our game,” Sowers said after the contest.
Two days later, Covington traveled to Georgetown-Ridgefarm, a location that came with poor memories for the older Trojan players.
In 2017, the Buffaloes upset Covington 2-1 in a game where the Trojans outshot their opponent 24-5 and where Corinne Moore tore up her knee so badly it ended her Covington soccer career.
Covington had gotten their revenge the following season, winning 8-0, but the team started the contest on Thursday in much the same way they had two years earlier – missing shots high or wide.
The match seemed like a throwback to the 1990’s when kicking a long ball and chasing it was in vogue in the area, but eventually the Trojans settled down and pushed a goal across when Mandolini fed Savion Waddell for a 1-0 lead.
The score stayed that way until the 53rd minute when the dam broke and the Trojans scored four goals in a sixteen-minute span.
Mandolini continued his string of assists, feed Tanner Dreher to make it 2-0 and then six minutes later he sent a ball to Pinkerton for a 3-0 score.
Four minutes later, Mandolini changed things up and scored an unassisted goal and then in the 69th minute, Waddell took a pass from Dreher for the fifth goal of the game.
Once again, the Covington defense showed up and played well, allowing the Buffaloes no shots on goal in the shutout.
“We still came out flat,” Sowers complained. “We’ve had a bad habit of doing that coming out of the gates and it’s something we need to fix.”
He was more positive about the last two-thirds of game, saying, “After we settled down and adjusted, we started finding the back of the net. Our defense did an excellent job of limiting Georgetown’s opportunities.”
Sowers concluded by saying, “We’ll need to keep improving as we have a big game against Terre Haute South next week.”