MTHS soccer off to smooth start after season opener

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Metamora’s Brad Herzog gets the ball out of Redbird territory during the season home opener with Mahomet-Seymour Aug. 26.

It was the first time for the new Metamora varsity soccer head coach Justin Morrow to be at the helm Aug. 26 with the season open against Mahomet-Seymour.

The grueling 80-minute match resulted in a 3-3 tie, but Morrow said the Redbirds performed well.

“It was a very quality opponent to start the season. We couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Morrow said.

“We had the fight of our life and it showed us that we had the trust in each other.”

Metamora ??? Clay Jones put in the first and last goal for the Redbirds and Cory Craig knocked one into the net as well.

Craig was able to get the first shot on goal in the seventh minute but it went long right. 

M-S gained offensive control and was able to put in the first goal in the 15th minute after a drive in from the midfield.

Metamora answered back after its lone corner kick of the game. Brad Herzog set it up a few feet out from the net when Jones jumped and had a header to knock it in at the 22nd minute.

“Clay, he’s just so aggressive in there. He works so hard,” Morrow said.

A minute barely passed before M-S broke through the Redbird defense to score its second, breaking the brief tie.

“Mohahmet-Seymour was amazingly aggressive. They were so resilient on their counters,” Morrow said.

However, it didn’t take long for the Redbird offense to put pressure on M-S.

Craig subbed in and quickly received the assist from Herzog to tie the game with nine minutes left in the first half.

Again, the Bulldogs charged through Metamora to take the lead once again just 40 seconds later.

With three minutes left, Craig was lined up for a penalty kick but hit off the cross bar.

“The ball of Cory’s foot was very good. I liked that he confidently picked up the ball and took the penalty kick,” Morrow said.

Metamora was able to reclaim the ball after the penalty kick when Craig took control again, but hit off the left post for a near miss to end the first half.

In the second half, both Metamora and M-S went back and forth on attacks but neither could score.

With 10 minutes left on the board, the Redbird put the pressure on. With under five minutes, two Metamora shots on goal went awry until Jones had a break away and put it right past the Bulldogs goal keeper with 1:30 left in the match and to seal the tie.

Metamora’s Josh Clasen was in the net and finished with 11 saves.

“Again, I’m so proud of the kids, the team, the program and the school,” Morrow said.