Arabians boys soccer falls 1-0 to Royals

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PENDLETON — In many ways, the 1-0 loss to Hamilton Southeastern for the boys soccer team was a win. The Arabians played host to the Royals, who are the No. 4 team in the state, and left the field with the knowledge they have what it takes.

“We came out tonight and fought hard,” Coach Kyle Davy said.

Following the Royals’ goal by Evan Dawdy at the 26:20 mark in the first half, the Arabians allowed the visitors few opportunities to score.

Pendleton’s William Phillips had five saves for the game, but the defensive effort by the Arabians left HSE short on options for good shots.

Down a defensive player, Davy said their defense nailed it.

“The guys did some really great stuff. Having a couple guys step into different roles and have them perform like that. I was super proud,” Davy said.

While the Arabians did not score in the contest, junior Kam Kail had shots on goal that either went wide or were stopped by Royal Charlie Woodring.

The Arabians were undefeated before an 8-0 loss to No. 2 Fishers last week. Davy said the match gave them a wakeup call.

“Getting that high-level competition, we learned a lot about ourselves, our team,” Davy said. After the Westfield Invite, during which the Arabians downed South Bend Washington but lost to Culver Academies, Davy said they saw and were able to fix some things for the HSE contest.

“I’m super proud of them for the heart they showed tonight. They kept themselves in the game and gave themselves a great opportunity for the win. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our night.”

The game had been rescheduled from a previous rain out and was the second half of a girls/boys doubleheader. The Royals only loss of the season was to Fishers. Davy said they were all for the rescheduled game to give them the high level of play to prepare for upcoming Hoosier Heritage Conference games. With previous years losses to HSE being 8-0 and 6-0, Davy said the Royals had their number but Monday’s match-up was different.

“That’s almost like a win to us,” Davy said.

With both teams in the same sectional, the game was a learning effort for both teams.

“We saw what they got. They saw what we got. It’s tough sectional. But for the guys to fight as hard as they did tonight and be in the game the entire night, it’s almost like a program changer,” Davy said.

The Arabians (6-3) we scheduled to visit Yorktown on Sept. 15 (after press time) and play host to Delta Sept. 16.