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Loss of jerseys motivates Rockets

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Boys dominate Oldham, come up with tie

By Todd Martin

The SCHS boys’ soccer team got a wake-up call Saturday when they lost to John Hardin. The loss was bad enough, but SCHS Coach B.J. Andriot had seen enough.

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“I told them to bring a white T-shirt with their number on it [for Tuesday’s game against Oldham County],” he said. “They weren’t wearing their jerseys. They weren’t allowed to wear them.”

Andriot took that motivational move a step further as well, not announcing the starters at the game either.

“We tried to make it about Hagan [Smith, the senior who broke his leg in the preseason],” Andriot said. “He was back and was our captain for the game.”

The team seemed to get the message loud and clear.

The Rockets (3-2-3, No. 22) came out and dominated Oldham County (5-5-1) with possession Tuesday, getting off 28 shots on goal against the visiting Colonels, but couldn’t find the back of the net in a scoreless tie.

Shelby had several opportunities in the first half, the best coming when Wilder Perez ran a ball down in the box with less than five minutes remaining and got a shot off, but it was tipped by Oldham's keeper and went off the right post.

Even though the Rockets controlled the first half, Andriot said his team was even better in the second half.

“They had a few counter attacks in the first half, and we weren’t great,” Andriot said. “But we were killing them in the second half.”

The Rockets had several opportunities sail just wide or high throughout the second and completely controlled the final 40 minutes.

“Their keeper made some great saves, and we just had some bad luck,” Andriot said. “Oldham County’s defense is very tough, but we had good looks."

Even though the Rockets just earned a tie, Andriot said he saw what he wanted to let the team back in their jerseys.

“I think they earned them back,” he said. “It was a good thing to bring them back to earth a little.”

Now the Rockets just need to get over that tie hump. Shelby lost by one to St. Xavier to start the year and since has come away with a tie in their three biggest games.

“The good thing about the ties is that it means our defense is playing well,” Andriot said. “On offense, we’re getting chances. We just need to work on the final third of the field. We’re pretty good there, but we just need to be more productive. We’ve got plenty of chances left to get a big win this season.”