The Trojans and the Mavericks battled to a 1-1 tie in a game that saw each team take 15 shots on goal. Both teams remain unbeaten in Ark Valley/Chisholm Trail League Division II play.
“We played really hard and we had some good opportunities,” Hutton said. “We just have to be a little more efficient and put away our chances when we have them, a little more cleanly and a little sooner instead of waiting until the game’s on the line.”
The Trojans (5-2-2) haven’t lost since Sept. 10. They played their fifth straight game without losing, and their third straight in overtime.
However, Andover coach Chris Lemons said he’s getting tired of watching his team get handled in the first half.
“We’re a second half team,” Lemons said. “I have to commend my boys for the way they played in the second half. But at the same time, you can’t survive off being just a second half team. We’re at home. We’ve got to protect what we’re playing for. We have our fans out here cheering for us and it’s frustrating not to be able to put a couple shots away.
“My problem is almost every game this season we come out flat, we come out slow, we come out scared. And it showed tonight. We were on our heels right away. Maize South is a phenomenal team and it showed. It has players who can possess, players who can pass. But instead of dropping back and being smart, cutting off passing lanes and getting them to choke the ball up, we start chasing. And that opens up gaps even more and they get opportunities …”
You get the idea.
Andover scored about 12 minutes into the second half, with both Tommy Fiszel and Brandon Wampler setting up Jacob Loflin’s third goal of the season.
“I was just playing it on the ground, trying to go back post,” Loflin said.
Which was a good strategy, according to Maize South goalkeeper Bailey Benter.
“I should have had it, but it took an awkward bounce,” Benter said. “It was really nice placement and it had too much spin on it.”
Benter had five saves for Maize South, while Andover goalie Ryan Brimager had seven.
Lemons was his usual soft-spoken self after the game, but said the slow starts are killing him. He even said it’s time to re-evaluate the way he prepares the Trojans for games, right down to the warm-ups.
“Being a player, I understand the nerves – especially in a game like this, where teams are vying for the top of the league,” said Lemons, who plays for the Wichita Wings. “It’s an important game. But at the same time, if you have nerves control you, it’s going to start taking away from your confidence and it’s going to break you as a player.”