A young Polk County boys soccer squad has taken a few lumps of late – literally.
The latest blow came in Thursday’s 4-1 home loss to a talented East Henderson squad. Goalkeeper David Castillo took a blow to the head late in the game, had to be helped off the field and eventually left the pitch by ambulance, suffering a likely concussion, according to Polk head coach Lennox Charles. It was the latest in a series of injuries at the position, and led to the game being called with just less than six minutes remaining.
Despite the injury, which followed a similar occurrence in the earlier junior varsity game, and a loss that dropped the team to 1-7 on the season, Charles still saw some bright spots from his squad, especially coming off a tough 2-1 loss to an undefeated Mountain Heritage squad.
“We talked at halftime about putting the first half behind us,” Charles said. “We wanted to come out and play a good second half. And we played a lot better. We were a little more organized and it looked like we might create some offense.
“We gave up the goal on the opening kickoff, and that just took the wind out of our sails. We did OK, we hung in there, but giving up that goal really set us back. . . We knew this would be a tough one. They are very good.”
East Henderson (5-1-1) built a 3-0 halftime lead, but Polk cut the margin to two midway through the final half. Off a free kick from Austin Wolfe on the left wing, Bradley Osborn knifed into the box, beating an East defender to the ball, and headed into the right side of the goal. Polk threatened on at least two other occasions before East scored a late goal to ice the victory.
“We did not make the right adjustments tonight,” Charles said. “We need to do a better job connecting passes and getting balls to feet. We have to get balls to feet when we bringing it upfield.
“The issue for us right now is making some big mistakes. We need to get rid of those.”
Charles said he hopes to have goalkeeper Rudy Macias back in action by next week.