The Beatrice boys soccer team trailed Blair by just one at half time Thursday night, but the Bears were able to score three goals in the second half to pull away for the win.
Blair defeated Beatrice 4-0 at the House of Orange.
Orangemen head coach Corey Wells said his team had many bright spots, but also moments that they didn't look very good. Wells said they've had a tough start the season and haven't always responded to adversity well, but that wasn't the case on Thursday.
"The score looks like it was a one-sided match, but the game was much closer than the score appears," Wells said. "We ended the match with six shots on goal to their nine, which is encouraging from a stat perspective. The only major stat we were missing was goals, though that is kind of a major component to the game."
Wells said his team's possession and movement off the ball was improved and he hopes they can continue that trend. Throughout the midfield, Devin Norris, Bennett Crandall and Preston Goin provided good combination play, leading to some scoring opportunities on the attacking end.
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"Those three players have been very dependable for us throughout the season and have created a number of opportunities for us," Wells said. "But we have to finish. We are putting ourselves in a position to score goals, and now we just need to reward those guys and ourselves for our hard work with a goal."
Adam Riekenberg ended the game with six saves. Wells says Riekenberg is a solid goalkeeper for the Orangemen.
"We have had too many lapses in judgment, poor passes, and times without communication that are leading to other teams having too many easy scoring opportunities," Wells said. "We need to be more assertive and more confident in defense, deny passes and shots into the box, and need to improve our communication in our defensive third of the field."
The Beatrice boys will be in action again on Saturday when they travel to Plattsmouth. Wells said his team has the potential to compete with teams, but it all comes down to their mental approach to the match.
"When we come in with confidence and trust in one another, we play well," Wells said. "What we need to improve on is our ability to play through the adversity, whether it be an opponent scoring a goal, a teammate being injured, or a call that we may not like."