Rockies drop NLC contest to Goshen

PLYMOUTH — An unwanted theme has been developing for the Rockies so far this season.
They play solidly for most of a game but wind up giving up goals in spurts during short breakdowns that ultimately cost them the game.
Such was the case Thursday as Plymouth lost a 2-0 Northern Lakes Conference decision to visiting Goshen on the Rockies’ home pitch at Kindt Soccerplex.
The game was locked at 0-0 until Goshen’s Warren Kay scored on a header off a free kick in the 66th minute. When Plymouth pushed upfield to try and take the goal back, the Redskins got in behind them for the insurance score that brought the scoring margin to its final.
“They had a couple set pieces that were really dangerous, but we kept them away from our goal. I thought we played, 65-70 minutes of really great soccer, and we probably had about a seven-minute breakdown where we gave up a free kick from deep out, didn’t mark up real well in the backside and they got a header,” said Plymouth Boys Soccer Coach Josh Martin. “Then we had to chase the game a little bit more, pushed our defense up and they got a through ball in behind us. They had some shots, but most of their shots were wide or high. Charlie (Brown) had a couple good saves.”
Already down a man in defender Jordan Popi after their NLC opener at Warsaw Aug. 25, the Rockies lost a key forward when Daniel Smith went down with a possible separated shoulder at Bremen Wednesday. His absence was felt Thursday not only in the shots on goal margin — where Goshen held an eight to four advantage — but also in Plymouth’s substitution numbers.
“With Smith out up top, he’s a real high-energy player, he’s super fast, I think we would have been able to put a lot more pressure on this Goshen defense if we would have had him here tonight,” said Martin. “With Popi in the back I think he’d help shore that up in the back a little bit and give us more subs. I think there were times not that that the personnel out there were playing bad, but they just got winded because our depth is really hurting now.”
Plymouth slips to 2-3-1 overall and 0-2 in the NLC with the Goshen result. Despite the loss, Martin said he isn’t completely disheartened by his team’s play and hopes to get a more favorable decision as the Rockies host the Blueberry Tournament this weekend, beginning with a game against Kankakee Valley at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“I was pleased that we played 65 to 70 minutes of good soccer,” said Martin. “A couple mental breakdowns and the game goes a different way, but it’s encouraging. We never like a loss, but we’re definitely going in the direction that we want to go.”
• GOSHEN 2, PLYMOUTH 0
At Plymouth
Second half
Warren Kay, 66th minute
Ricardo Castilllo, 68th minute
Shots on goal: Plymouth 4, Goshen 8
Saves: Charlie Brown (Plymouth) 3, Goshen 4
Corners: Plymouth 2, Goshen 2
Fouls: Plymouth 15, Goshen 16
Record: Plymouth 2-3-1 (0-2 NLC)
JV score: Goshen 6, Plymouth 0