• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Boys’ soccer wins two of three at Showcase

MARCUS WATSON goes on the attack for the Jackets at the Lexington Soccer Showcase. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School boys’ soccer team opened the Lexington Soccer Showcase with a 6-2 victory over Bryan Station High School Friday night, Aug. 18, in Lexington. The game started slowly with a 15-minute delay to repair a hole in the turf. When play resumed, the Defenders struck first on an indirect kick. “I was happy to see that we did not hang our heads when we were scored on early,” said Coach Fonyam Atanga. “The kids continued to fight, and that is encouraging for us.” Woodford responded with a terrific goal by Zack Ball. After the goal by Ball, the Jackets quickly gained control of the match. Freshman Hunter Penn scored a pair of goals, and the Jackets were in complete control at 3-1. Senior Lane Moore kept the scoring going and was followed up by a pair of goals by Brandon Cromwell to bring the total to 6-2. The Jackets held the Defenders at bay the rest of the way. On Saturday morning, the Jackets traveled to Lafayette in the second game of the Lexington Soccer Showcase. Lafayette challenged the Jackets on every possession in the first half. A pair of close calls on chances by Drew Blaydes and Brandon Cromwell nearly got the Jackets on the board early on. Lafayette eventually sneaked one by keeper Chris Ramirez with four minutes to play in the first half. “Again today, I was happy to see the team respond well after being scored on,” said Atanga. “This is our second game in a row when we had to play from behind and fight back and they did that.” Drew Blaydes scored on a penalty kick early in the second half to tie the game at 1-1. The Jackets kept control of the ball for much of the second half and kept the Lafayette keeper busy in net. Gavin Nicholson scored the game’s final goal through a pair of defenders. Woodford County played aggressively with the lead and kept the Generals from getting into position to tie the game. “Good competition out there today,” said Atanga. “Overall a much better performance. It was a truly a tale of two days for us. Nice adjustments made at halftime were difference makers. The adjustments were simple. We made sure to pressure Lafayette a little higher up the field and then when we won possession not to rush the ball, and this served us well. “ In the Saturday evening finale against Dunbar, the Jackets were defeated 3-0 in a hard-nosed battle on the pitch. “My take-away is that we have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to facing the best teams in our region,” Atanga said. “We need to get back and work on improving how we can control games.” The Jackets will travel to Scott County Thursday night at 8.

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