• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS boys’ soccer opens against top competition

AVERY WHISMAN dribbles the ball downfield during the Woodford County High School boys’ soccer game against Lafayette in the Lexington Soccer Showcase at Lafayette High School on Saturday, Aug. 20. Woodford and Lafayette tied 0-0 in this game, but Whisman scored a goal in the opening game of the Showcase against Bryan Station on Friday, Aug. 19, at Bryan Station. (Photo by Steve Blake/multiexposures.com)

Woodford County High School boys’ soccer opened its season against some top competition at the Lexington Soccer Showcase. Playing teams at different sites around Lexington, the team finished with a 1-0-2 record, as they defeated Bryan Station 2-0, then tied Lafayette and Dunbar 0-0 in some very intense play. “I’m really happy with the progress the team has made since our opening (preseason) weekend of play at the Bluegrass State Games,” said Woodford head coach Fonyam Atanga. “In three games in that competition, we gave up two goals and only managed to score two. “This weekend (in the Lexington Soccer Showcase), we played the same number of games, mostly against better competition, and did not give up a single goal, but scored two. We obviously have a lot of work to do still, but the team seems to be responding positively to the work we’ve been putting in at practice.” In its season opening game in the Showcase against Bryan Station on Friday, Aug. 19, at Bryan Station, Woodford played a solid game and won 2-0. Woodford’s goals were scored by Avery Whisman, unassisted; and Josh Cromwell, assisted by Drew Blaydes. “A much improved team from previous years,” said Atanga. “We should’ve scored more goals as we created more chances, but it was a good result nonetheless.” The second game in the Showcase was against Dunbar, which was played at Dunbar on Saturday morning. Dunbar is always a very tough team, and has knocked Woodford out of the 11th Region tournament a few times in the past. In this game, the two teams fought hard for the entire contest, which ended in a 0-0 tie. “As is usually the case, it was a very intense game,” said Atanga. “Dunbar came out hard at us and within the first 10 minutes they almost went ahead twice. They were the better team in the first half. “In the second half, we took over the game, created more chances and even had a goal called back for offside. I’m not sure how the scoreboard read 0-0 at the final whistle, but it was a much better game than the result showed.” In their final game of the Showcase, Woodford played Lafayette on Saturday evening at Lafayette, and in another hard-fought contest, the Yellow Jackets scored their second 0-0 tie game on the same day. “This was a very good game against a very good opponent that ended up being a midfield battle,” said Atanga. “Both teams had good chances, but defended very well and just ended up cancelling each other out.”

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