SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Generals finally got the chance to play on their home pitch yesterday, a 1-1 tie with the South Dakota School of Mines.
In the final tune-up game before the regular season starts, head coach Jeff Hallenbeck was using the scrimmage as a final chance to work on different techniques and get his team in shape.
The strategy of the first half was to control possession and push the ball offensively, resulting in the Generals lone goal in the 20th-minute. The Generals patiently worked the ball into the visitors’ side of the field, passing efficiently and effectively. A great through ball led to a cross from the right to the middle of the box, where Corbin Shriner stopped it and scored an easy goal right in front of the net.
Although Hallenbeck pulled his players back to play more of a defensive set in the second half, another perfect through ball led to a clear shot at the goal. Striker Dylan Mooney was unable to get a good boot on it, and it was stopped by the opposing keeper.
An early mistake, a shove in the box, led to a penalty kick for the South Dakota school in the ninth minute of the second half, which tied the game, 1-1.
“The call itself would probably never have been called in a regular season game,” Hallenbeck said of the penalty. “He saw the offensive player cutting in front of him, so he just kind of nudged him without playing the ball. We talked about it on the sideline about how to adjust that.”
Those adjustments have been something the coach has been working on with his team all preseason as they prep for regular season play.
“A lot of the mental errors come from fatigue and just lack of communication,” he said. “A few times we could have easily done stuff where we played harder instead of smarter. As we get more into game-playing shape, as we get smarter with what we’re doing, we’ll stop with the mental errors.”
The Generals will get a chance to put their strategies into play in their first regular season game on Friday, when they take to their home pitch again to square off against Utah State University. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.