WESTMORELAND – The Westmoreland High School soccer team continued its recent scoring struggles on Tuesday evening, suffering a 2-0 loss to visiting Jackson County in the team’s regular-season finale at Eagle Stadium.
“The kids played hard,” Eagle head coach Bryan Graves said. “They scrapped. They created some opportunities. We just didn’t finish.”
Westmoreland (1-8) suffered its seventh shutout.
“At some point in time, you just have to put them in the net,” Graves said.
Jackson County (6-5) – which has compiled its greatest win total in the program’s history – scored a goal in each half.
Blue Devil junior Cory Jordan crossed a ball to senior Dylan Penley for a goal in the 24th minute.
Then, Penley scored again midway through the second half, controlling sophomore Orry Smallwood’s corner kick after it bounced around in the box.
Eagle senior goalkeeper Lukas Carter made leaping saves of second-half shots by Smallwood and Penley to prevent further damage.
In the 38th minute, Westmoreland senior midfielder Caleb Graves threw a ball in play that slipped through senior goalkeeper Jonathan Dyer’s hands. Junior teammate Spencer Morgan put the bouncing ball on frame, but it sailed high.
Then, Caleb Graves headed Morgan’s corner kick later in the half, but it also sailed over the crossbar.
Morgan and seniors Perry Brown, Griffin Garrison and Houston Wischmeier all had second-half shots but couldn’t convert.
“This bunch of kids will play hard,” Bryan Graves – whose squad’s lone win was a 4-3 victory at Madison Academy in its season opener – said. “The groups here the last four or five years will play hard. They may not always win, but they play hard. A lot of them are multi-sport kids, so they compete. They’ve given the effort.”
Westmoreland opens the District 9 A-AA Tournament with a match at Sycamore on Saturday afternoon at 1. The Eagles suffered a 4-0 loss to visiting Sycamore on April 28.
Reach Craig Harris at email@example.com or at 615-575-7138. Follow him on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.