• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

WCHS boys’ soccer routs Anderson County 7-0

BRANDON CROMWELL scores in mid-air in the first half against Anderson County on Thursday, Sept. 7. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School boys’ soccer team bounced back from a tough loss at Lexington Catholic to defeat Anderson County 7-0 on Thursday, Sept. 7. The game started with a furious rally by the Jackets. Chris Phelps scored quickly past a diving Bearcats’ keeper to make the score 1-0. Seconds later, the Jackets were back in the Bearcats’ zone looking to score. Noah Hayes scored on a blistering pass from Brandon Cromwell. A few minutes later, Cromwell scored on a shot he fired from mid-air. “I felt like we had a good start to the game,” said coach Fonyam Atanga. “I think we found ourselves a little too comfortable and missed a few good opportunities. We are a much better team when we keep our focus and not let our guard down.” Cromwell scored his second goal of the match on a Phelps assist that gave him a one-on-one matchup with the keeper, and Cromwell snuck the ball by for a goal. Phelps made the score 5-0 with a strike off of a Hunter Penn assist. “Our efficiency early on in the game was great having three goals on four shots,” said Atanga. “In the second half, we played smart soccer, and that let us rest some guys after playing two games this week with another Saturday. We are constantly trying to grow our depth and having some guys banged up; tonight was a chance to be more creative with my lineup. We were able to get Chris Jackson back tonight after he got banged up in the Catholic game and that provides a boost for us.” Senior Drew Blaydes scored the sixth goal of the game on a penalty kick, and then Owen Damm fed Jackson for the score to bring the final tally to 7-0. “It was a good night out there for us,” said Jackson. “Some guys got minutes that don’t get a chance to (play) every game, and the bench gets loud when those guys get in. We are all cheering for them. We want to see them make a play.” The Jackets passed the ball around the field for the remainder of the game and had some chances that were stopped by the keeper or were just wide of the net. “We came out strong and scored three quick ones, but then our energy dropped, and we know that can’t happen for us to be successful.” said Blaydes. “Coach told us at halftime that we need more urgency, so we came out quick with a goal and kept up the pressure. As a team, we are getting better. Every position is getting stronger, and we can see it happening. Our forwards are making good runs, and everyone is communicating. We feel really good about where we are.” Boyle County On Saturday against Boyle County, the Jackets were pushed to their limit and came away victorious in a 4-3 slugfest on the road. Blaydes scored on an assist from Phelps to get the Jackets on the board. Gavin Nicholson added a goal from a Phelps assist. Phelps would later score unassisted, and Blaydes scored on a penalty kick to be the difference maker in the game. “It was a very difficult game today against a very good Boyle County team,” said Atanga. “The boys had to show real resilience and toughness. We came from behind to take the lead and had to fight hard after giving up the lead twice and even going down a man. I’m very proud of my team, and we gained valuable experience today playing in front of a hostile crowd. I think it will serve us well down the road.”

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