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Connersville junior Austin Angeles leans into a kick against Greenfield-Central, in a junior varsity match-up between the two teams Monday night at Spartan Field. Angeles and the Spartans wound up with a 5-3 victory over the visiting Cougars.
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Connersville freshman Lennon Lakes gets a jump on a loose ball, Monday night against Greenfield-Central at Spartan Field. Lakes and the Spartan junior varsity team wound up with a 5-3 victory over the Cougars.

By JORDAN COOLEY - Correspondent

Monday night, the Connersville High School junior varsity boys team entertained the Greenfield-Central reserves and came away with a hard-fought 5-3 victory.

Coming into the game, both Spartan players and coaches were aware of the challenge ahead, and knew they had to be focused and prepared for the unexpected.

“They were very good and very well coached in the past,” Connersville coach John Reynolds said.

The second half proved just how well the Cougars were, as they finally woke up and brought a fight even though they were trailing 2-1 at the end of the first half.

Through the first 40 minutes, GCHS limited the Spartans to a 20 percent goal percentage.

In spite of that, Connersville had Greenfield-Central on the ropes as the Spartans allowed only five shot attempts and the lone score.

On the offensive end of the field, CHS overcame a slow start, as no shot attempts were made in the first nine minutes of play.

All that changed, however, as the home team got things going.

Cody Naylor finally put the Spartans on the scoreboard, sneaking a kick past GC goalie Ethan Starks. Naylor was followed by a goal from Cooper Kinney, prior to halftime.

Jonah Hite carved the lead in half with a goal, leaving the visitors short one goal at halftime.

The two teams played back-and-forth with the ball through the first 11 minutes of the second half. CHS’ Riley Smith would end that with a perfect set-up for Cooper Kinney, the Spartan freshman depositing the assist past Starks’ outstretched hand, making the score 3-1.

Greenfield-Central (0-1-3) would keep the game close, adding a goal shortly thereafter to close the deficit to one.

The Spartans would outscore the Cougars 2-1 through the remainder of the game, one of the two CHS goals credited as an ‘own goal’ against the visitors. The other Connersville marker was scored by Lane Dungan.

Following the game, coach Reynolds pointed out that the victorious outcome would have been much more difficult, had it not been for some of the veteran players on the field.

“The big key over todays victory was our 11th graders, who made sure the younger ones stayed in the game,” he said. “Austin Angeles may not have scored tonight, but he contributed with a lot of passing communication that kept the team together and working as one.

“The entire game the upperclassman took leadership roles allowing us to control this game.”

In goal, Hunter Dunaway finished with seven saves.

“Hunter made several great saves to preserve the win,” Reynolds noted of his keeper.

On the other end of the field, Starks gathered in 10 saves, three of them diving stops.

Both teams were in search of win No. 1 for the season, the Spartan reserves improving to 1-1-1 with the victory.

Connersville is again at home twice more this week. The Spartans will host Centerville on Thursday evening and will then entertain Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe Rushville on Saturday.