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CAPTAIN: Valley senior Levi Sanders scored the Rams’ lone goal on Friday night against Russell County at the 26:12 mark in the second half. Photo by Rashad Milligan

Valley boys loses 5-1 to Russell County

VALLEY — On a breezy night after a sunny day at Rams Stadium, the Valley boys soccer team fell to Russell County 5-1 on Friday.

“It wasn’t a bad performance,” Valley boys head soccer coach Cullen Milner said. “We got tired in the second half. A lot of defensive mistakes. The wind was actually moving in the direction of our faces during both halves. We switched fields, and the wind switched on us. That didn’t help us out. Fatigue got us. We were super competitive, this team wasn’t better than us, we just have to get in better shape, and connect on some better passes.”

The Rams were in the match throughout the first half. Russell County scored a goal early on the night before Valley’s offensive opportunities opened up.

At the 33, 29, 25 and 14-minute marks in the first half, the Rams put up shots on goal that just missed the back of the net. 

With 11:27 remaining before halftime, Russell County scored its second goal of the night. Valley trailed 2-0 at the break after the competitive first half.

“If we can play two halves like that, then I think we’d have a much better chance,” Milner said. “That’s what plagued us last year. We did the same thing, but hopefully, we can push through with this group. It’s early in the season. We’re still very young, so we have a lot to improve on, and it’s only our second game. A lot of teams have already played five games through tournaments, while we’ve had a couple of cancellations. Once we get rock and rolling into the meat of our season, I think we’ll be alright.”

Rams senior Levi Sanders gave the team some hope by scoring a goal at the 26:12 mark in the second half to cut the deficit down to one. The hope was short-lived, however, as Russell County responded with a goal 20 seconds later at 25:52. The visitors added two more scores on the night, including the final one that simply rolled past the Valley defense late in the match.

“We fell asleep a little on defense, including the goalkeeper,” Milner said. “We’re still fighting a little inexperience. We still have five guys on the field who have never played before.”

Valley returns home to host Tallassee next Tuesday.