Newton teams split with Stephenson

COVINGTON - The Newton girls soccer team started slow, but it quickly built momentum, beating Stephenson 4-0 Wednesday at Homer Sharp Stadium.

The Newton boys, on the other hand, never got anything going offensively in their 2-0 loss to Stephenson.

Newton junior Lynea Fouser provided all the goals for Newton, scoring one in the first half and three in the second half.

"She had four goals, but she probably could have had a lot more than four. She's very unselfish," Newton girls coach Mary Roach said. "She distributed the ball a lot better, but unfortunately we still have people that need to get better on that end."

The Lady Rams (3-2 overall, 2-0 Area 2-AAAAA) started slow, as they were missing passes and allowing Stephenson (2-3, 1-3) to use its quickness to get to the ball first. However, the Lady Rams defense did not allow any open shots.

"We came out lazy. They'd been here a while and they've already had their warmups and had to wait an additional 20 minutes before we started. That's a change and it's always going to affect them. I was very disappointed in their lack of effort in the beginning," Roach said.

Newton ended the first half leading 1-0 after Fouser scored on a penalty kick 13 minutes into the game.

In the second half, the Lady Rams came out with more intensity as they slowly wore down the Stephenson defense.

The softer defense became apparent when Fouser scored the second and fourth goals after dribbling the ball from midfield.

"The first half we were undisciplined. As they were crowding and bunching together, we were doing the same thing. Basically, we played to their level," Roach said. "In the second half, we kept the spread a little more and actually played soccer.

In the boys game, Newton (3-2, 1-1) had a hard time keeping up with Stephenson's speed as the Jaguars (6-1, 4-1) were beating the Rams to the ball on long passes for most of the night.

Newton had a few chances to score in the first half but their shots were either off the mark or the Stephenson defense was able to beat then to the ball before they could get the shot off.

"They outplayed us. They outhustled us. They won the greatest percentage of 50-50 balls and they put the ball in the back of the net two times. We had several opportunities to score but couldn't finish," Newton head coach Tim Hardison said. "They're looking to make that one extra pass instead of shooting. We've got some things we'll just have to work on."

The second half was much like the first in that the Rams could not get shots off when needed.

Newton also struggled passing the ball. The Rams were unable to get more than two touches before Stephenson got the ball back.

"We'd have one touch then another decent touch then something would happen and they would steal the ball from us. We've got to find some young men that have some heart about them and want to play hard for the entire 80 minutes of the game," Hardison said. "Right now, I've got some seniors pushing them and trying to lead them that way, but I've got other guys that have got to step up."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.