HUNTSVILLE | Scott High soccer coach Eric Henry doesn’t often mince words, and he wasn’t beating around the bush after his team’s 6-1 loss to Cumberland Gap in Thursday’s home opener.
“That loss is totally, 100% my fault,” Henry said after the Lady Highlanders fell to the Panthers. “I didn’t have everybody ready and everybody focused. That’s 100% Coach Henry’s fault and I take all the blame. But I’ll also make sure we fix it tomorrow at 3:30, right over there on the bleachers.”
Henry’s anger came as he watched his team go toe-to-toe with Cumberland Gap for the first 30 minutes of the first half. Then the wheels came off, as Gap built a 3-0 halftime lead.
Even when the game was still scoreless, Cumberland Gap was dominating possession and shot attempts, and Henry was urging his team to step up their effort. At halftime, the veteran head coach didn’t have much to say to his team, except to voice his displeasure and then leave them to consider their effort.
When the second half started with Cumberland Gap quickly putting another goal on the board, Henry had seen enough. He pulled all of his starters, making a mass substitution.
Only minutes later, sophomore Abby Henson scored off an assist from fellow sophomore Brittany Morrow.
Cumberland Gap would score twice more after that, but left several senior starters on the field against what was basically Scott High’s JV team, moving some defenders to forward in an attempt to let them score. However, the Lady Highlanders were able to keep them off the board after that. Sophomore keeper Bella Sharpe, the only player Henry didn’t sub out, made several saves. Later, when Sharpe left with a head injury, backup keeper Rachel Garrett made some saves, as well, to prevent Cumberland Gap from padding the score.
“Bella made some saves tonight that were unreal,” Henry said afterward. “But with the exception of Bella, everybody else out there played like horse manure.”
But Henry did have good things to say about his younger players who took the field in the second half.
“The subs came in and, except for Kynlie (Frogge), those girls never see the field, and they scored in the first three minutes,” he said. “It took them three minutes to score against Cumberland Gap’s starting defense. We’ve been out there for I don’t know how long and couldn’t score, and it took those girls three minutes to score against the starting D over there.
“My girls who were freshmen and sophomores held their own,” Henry added. “They did well, and I’m happy for them.”