• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS boys’ senior night soccer game ends in tie

The Woodford County High School boys’ soccer team came out fast and strong against Central Hardin on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to try and get on the scoreboard early in its senior night contest. However, despite their best efforts all game long, when the final horn sounded, the game ended in a scoreless tie. “It was a good effort,” said Woodford head coach Fonyam Atanga. “We’ve been missing about four or five starting players, and they’re not all back (yet, and) it’s had us, in a span of five games, lose three, win one and tie one. So, you can tell how important these players are to the team. “But, having them back today, even not at 100 percent capacity, was still good,” he continued. “I think it boosted the rest of the team really, because we’ve been playing with low energy for most of that span of five games. It was good to see us play and defend our home turf like we were playing at home. I haven’t seen that in a while to be honest. Unfortunately, we couldn’t score, but things happen.” Prior to the start of the game, Woodford honored its senior players – Joe Caloca, Maclain Evans, Glenn Fister, Alex Karbach, Trevor Sparks, George Stanley and Trevor White – in a short ceremony in front of family, friends and fans. “This group means just as much to me as the last five,” said Atanga. “I’m so proud of the fact that we continue to graduate players that come to us as freshmen and that they continue to serve as a great inspiration to our up-and-coming groups. Of course I’m proud that they are academically outstanding kids, but I’m also proud that some of them will continue the tradition of us having at least one player from each graduating class that will be heading off to play in college. “Mike Hayes and I will sure miss them like we miss every group, but we look forward to finishing the season as strong as every other group we’ve had and establishing a legacy for the younger players to follow.” In the game, both teams played strong defense and kept each other in check for a good portion of the game. Early in the game, Woodford had more scoring opportunities than Central Hardin did, but each time they got close to the net, they were thwarted by a wide shot or a good play by the Bruins’ goalkeeper or defender. Near the end of the first half, and a good portion of the second half, Central Hardin began playing more aggressively, which resulted in some good scoring opportunities. Their best chance to score came at the 2:58 mark in the second half, when a Bruin got a pass and ran towards the Yellow Jackets’ goal on a clean breakaway. Finally, he took a shot, but Woodford’s senior goalkeeper, George Stanley, made a great save to keep the game scoreless. As the clock began to wind down, Woodford started pressing forward and with just 15.1 seconds left, had its best opportunity to score when senior Maclain Evans got the ball in front of the net but was pulled down by a Central Hardin defender in what surely looked to be a foul. However, the referees conferred and not only did they not give Woodford a penalty kick, but they gave the ball to the Bruins. Shortly after, the horn sounded and the game ended 0-0. “It was interesting,” said Atanga about the call. “I respect referees for the job they do. But, in this case, whenever a center (referee) goes to the assistant about a decision like that, to me it means he didn’t see it. But, what the assistant is telling me after the game is, ‘I told him there was contact. I wasn’t sure if it was enough for a penalty kick – you’re call.’ And, for a guy (the center referee) who didn’t see it to decide against it, to me is an interesting decision. Referees hardly ever affect results of games. I mean, I’m sorry, that affected the result of the game there to not give a decision that, to anyone in here in the stadium, was a clear decision.” Next up, Woodford hosts the 41st District playoffs at home in Community Stadium beginning on Monday, Oct. 10. In their opening game, Woodford will face Frankfort at 8 p.m. If the Yellow Jackets win, they will play in the championship on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday’s Franklin County-Western Hills game.

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