The Beatrice boys soccer team was unable to find the back of the net in a 3-0 loss to Mount Michael Tuesday night at the House of Orange.
Mount Michael led 1-0 at half time and added two more goals in the second half.
Despite the loss, Beatrice coach Corey Wells said his team continues to improve each time they step on the field.
"Mount Michael is a very solid team and they have many quality players," Wells said. "We are pleased that we hung right with them through the majority of the game, but we need to start transitioning these games where we are able to play with teams into wins."
Wells said on Tuesday night, they struggled with switching fields, continuing to play down one side.
"It makes it much easier for a team to close you down," Wells said. "We needed to pick our head up and find a longer pass, sometimes a ball over the top, to the opposite of the field. Our outside midfielders had loads of space on the backside of possession, we just didn't find them."
Wells said Mount Michael's first goal came because his team got too relaxed, allowing Mount Michael to close them down and turn them over.
"We had two or three passes in the midfield that didn't have much pace to them, and we were taking one too many touches, and against quality teams that is all it takes," Wells said. "They close us down and catch us on a counter attack."
Mount Michael created more scoring opportunities in the first half, but the Orangemen defenders were able to eliminate too many through balls and shots from close range. .
Adam Riekenberg had 18 saves in the game.
"Adam had a monster game in goal for us tonight," Wells said. "We got stretched at times, especially in the second half, and he kept us in it. Eighteen saves in a game is a huge number, and many of those were big saves, some of them coming very acrobatically. He has had an outstanding season so far and currently leads the Class B in saves."
Wells said in the second half, his team struggled to string longer runs of possession together, partly due to Mount Michael's pressure. That forced the Orangemen to have to defend more than they wanted.
Their second goal came about 15 minutes into the second half when one of their strikers found the ball, made two nice cuts and finished the shot to the back post.
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Mount Michael's last goal game on an unfortunate sequence of events.
The ball was played into the box and it looked like Riekenberg had the ball, but there was a lot of traffic in the box.
One of Mount Michael's players fell over a defender and the collision force the ball into the goal.
"It was strange, but as a defender, you never want to be facing your own goal," Wells said. "If that contact happens and we are turned away from goal, it is probably a different result."
Wells said the team never quit and everybody played hard. He specifically said Connor Freitag is improving himself defensively as a center back.
"We need to be more vocal across the back, but those guys back there are coming together and have faced some serious tests with some of the strikers that we have played against," Wells said.
Wells said Devin Norris has also been a "workhorse" for the team, always looking to improve and is becoming a great leader in the midfield.
Beatrice traveled to Omaha Roncalli on Thursday and they will host South Sioux City on Saturday.
"Every game on our schedule is a tough test, and with that schedule you need the depth to get you through some of those games," Wells said. "We are starting to see our players play at a high level, and we need that depth to help keep us at that high level."
Lady O falls to Duchesne
The Beatrice girls soccer team fell to Omaha Duchesne 6-0 Tuesday night.
The Lady O will also be in action again on Saturday when they host South Sioux City.