The Venice boys soccer team escaped with a 1-0 win over Charlotte on Tuesday night, but the deficit could have been much larger between the Indians and Tarpons.
The Indians made it difficult for the Tarpons to shoot, let alone score, as Venice used a first-half goal by Caleb Davis in the 10th minute to hold on for the win.
The Indians (2-5) out-shot the Tarpons, 24-12, and limited Charlotte (1-4-2) to just two shots on goal all game — both of which came in the first half.
“It was one of those nights where we faced a good keeper, but at the same time, our forwards didn’t have their shooting boots on,” Venice associate head coach Greg Atkin said. “If we play that well against any team, and we work on our finishing, I think we’ll be more than fine.”
After Davis poked in his goal with a touch off a shot deflection in the box, the Indians stayed aggressive, notching four more shots on goal before the half was up.
However, Venice’s shots were either directly at Charlotte goalkeeper Gavin Pennell, or close enough that the junior keeper could fend them away.
“Gavin is a heck of a goalkeeper,” Charlotte coach Greg Winkler said. “When he’s focused, I think we’re gonna do well. All we need is a goal, and tonight we just couldn’t get one.”
But despite Pennell’s best efforts, the Tarpons simply couldn’t break through on offense.
The closest they came was once in the 27th minute when freshman Tyler Amaral broke through the Indians defense, but couldn’t land a clean shot on the ball.
Then, in the 61st minute, Jacob Santiago sent a scorching shot inches over the Venice goal on a free kick about 30 yards out.
For Charlotte, it was a night of recurring problems.
“We’re having trouble finding someone who can put it away,” Winkler said.
“I thought we had a good run of play in the second half, but we’re just not shooting when we have the opportunity. Defensively, we just made a mistake on that first goal in the box. Otherwise we played a lot better today than last Thursday.”
Though Venice came up short on several good looks at the net, Diego Heredia and Conner Anderson — in his first game back from football season — both had opportunities to score, and that was an encouraging sign for Atkin and his 2-5 Indians.
“It was definitely encouraging, especially in the second half, but if you don’t finish it doesn’t matter,” he said. “A lot of the stuff we’ve been workin on paid off tonight — staying tight defensively, we’ve been working on build-up play and that was great, but clearly finishing needs to be touched up.”