Valley boys loses to Prattville 6-4 in second-half shootout

Published 10:19 pm Monday, March 4, 2019

VALLEY — The Valley boys soccer team came up short in a 6-4 loss to Prattville Christian Academy on Monday night.

“This is a totally new team,” Valley boys head soccer coach Cullen Milner said. “These guys have come so far, and they’ve grown so quickly. They’ve risen to every challenge that I’ve had them meet.”

The Rams led at halftime 2-1 thanks to a pair of goals from sophomore Jonah Nolen early in the contest. It was the first time this season that the Rams carried a lead going into the break.

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“Going into the locker room at halftime up by one felt really good,” Milner said. “But we have to learn how to finish those shootouts.” 

At the 34-minute mark in the second half, Prattville scored the equalizer. Eight minutes later, Valley senior Levi Sanders snuck a deflected ball past Prattville’s goalkeeper at the line for a 20-yard plus goal from a free kicking score to put the Rams back on top 3-2.

Inside of 16 minutes remaining in the second half, Prattville scored another equalizer on a penalty kick. On the ensuing Valley attack, Sanders was given another free kick, which he gracefully set up sophomore Michael Davis for the header at the 15-minute mark in the second half.

“I’m really proud of [Davis],” Milner said. “He’s really coming into his own this year. I expect big things for him in the future.”

Within the next two minutes, Prattville struck the equalizer and go-ahead goals that caused an eruption on the visitor’s sideline. 

Prattville later scored from a deep shot in the corner with 9:37 remaining for its sixth and final goal of the night.

“We’ve never been in that position,” Milner said. “Normally, we’re down trying to scrape our way back. We have to learn how to compose ourselves when we have the lead, and finish a game like that.”

Milner also noted that Valley had the wind going in the team’s face in the second half.

In the big picture, the Rams are still 1-0 in area play after defeating Tallassee 5-4 on Feb. 26. The team will host another area opponent on Thursday against Elmore County.

“[Monday night’s game] gives us a great deal of encouragement going into our next area opponent,” Milner said. “Yes, there is an emotional hurt because we hate to lose more than anything, but the biggest challenge is to mentally bounce back, recover this week and get ready for Elmore County. 

“We’re 1-0 in area, and that’s really all that matters right now.”