The Miami Trace Panthers opened the 2020 soccer season with a non-conference match at home against the Circleville Tigers on an overcast, muggy Thursday evening.
In this defensive battle, the Tigers finally broke through with a goal with 3:43 remaining in the match.
The Tigers made that stand up for a 1-0 victory.
“They linked a couple of passes and we just missed a guy,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “We lost 14 seniors and two foreign exchange students (from last year’s team). We have to replace eight starters.
“Due to the coronavirus, we did not have an opportunity to have a scrimmage,” Thoroman said. “This was our first chance to try to put it together.
“Their first game was against one of the best teams in the district in Jackson,” Thoroman said. “(Circleville) got beat, 2-1. There were penalty kicks in that game; there was a player ejected. They’re battle-tested after one game.
“They were ready and we were out of sorts,” Thoroman said. “We weren’t connecting like we know we will. Defensively, we were solid. Our defense was stout, all night long. We had about five seconds where we didn’t play well and they made us pay.
“I think things will really come together for us,” Thoroman said. “Our conditioning was awesome. Offensively, we had our chances, they just didn’t fall.”
Senior Ethan Steele was in goal for the Panthers, recording 10 saves of 11 Circleville shots.
Miami Trace had eight shots on goal.
Miami Trace will be in action at home Saturday at 11 a.m. against the Fairfield Lions of Leesburg. The Lady Panthers will take on Fairfield Saturday at home at 1 p.m.