CARROLL — The frustration Bloom-Carroll’s boys soccer team had Saturday mainly was aimed at itself.
The Bulldogs squandered scoring chances early, and a few defensive lapses in the second half proved important, as Bloom-Carroll lost 3-2 to visiting Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in a nonleague game.
“It’s frustrating for us, but it was the things that we did that led to their scoring,” Bulldogs coach Robb Ingram said. “We’ll get better at that. We just made some knucklehead mistakes.”
Despite a slight disadvantage in possession time, the Bulldogs (1-1) had the majority of scoring chances in the opening half. But whether it was a shot wide of goal or a point-blank attempt that sailed over the crossbar, the Bulldogs could not convert.
Ingram said he counted five balls the Bulldogs should have put in the back of the net. Those missed opportunities made an impact when Mooney (3-0) started scoring in the second half.
Mooney first scored after Bulldogs goalkeeper Kolin Petty scrambled from the penalty box to chase after a loose ball. When his kick was intercepted by a Mooney player, the ball was in the back of the Bulldogs’ net before Petty could get back in goal.
“We just made some knucklehead plays and couldn’t finish on the other end. That’s soccer,” Ingram said. “In a one-goal game, that hurts you.”
Bloom-Carroll twice answered a Mooney goal only to give up one of its own minutes later. Nine minutes after Nick Hedges tied the match 1-1 with 29:10 to play, Mooney scored.
When Thomas Robinson gathered a long pass and scored to tie the game at 2-2 with 12:35 to play, the Bulldogs gave up another goal barely a minute after that.
“That’s what I tell the kids. Ten minutes (after scoring a goal) you gotta survive,” Ingram said. “And we didn’t do it at all.”
Mooney, a Division II power from Youngstown, and the Bulldogs have played every year for at least the past five. Competing against a program of that caliber serves as a litmus test for Ingram’s team. He gets an early measure of where the Bulldogs are and what needs improvement.
The Bulldogs need to eliminate mental mistakes in order to become more consistent.
“They’re a class program, and we enjoy competing against them,” Ingram said. “We’re always building for that end of the season. That’s why our schedule is the way it is. We want to polish ourselves for that (postseason) tournament besides work hard in the league.”