• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

WCHS boys’ soccer blanks Tates Creek 3-0

HUNTER PENN battles for an incoming ball in the second half of a 3-0 win over the Tates Creek Commodores. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School boys’ soccer team is hitting its stride as the march to postseason play continues. The Jackets were fearless in their play against Tates Creek on Thursday, Sept. 21. Woodford brought pressure to the Commodores every chance it had and it paid off with a 3-0 win. Woodford had a pair of early chances from a couple of junior forwards, Chris Phelps and Brandon Cromwell. Senior Marcus Watson started the scoring with a goal on a Cromwell assist. The Jackets nearly scored seconds later when a Cromwell shot went just wide of the net. Tates Creek added some pressure to the Jackets but the Jacket defense, anchored by senior Gavin Nicholson, kept pushing the Commodores back. “Our defense was fantastic tonight,” said senior goal keeper Chris Ramirez. “I trust our defenders and I hope they trust me just as much. When we play in sync like we did tonight, we are a dangerous team. This is my first year being part of the soccer team and it’s been a fun time. I’m looking forward to seeing how far we can go.” Senior midfielder Drew Blaydes led the Jacket midfielders to create opportunities for the forwards but also clogged up space to stop Tates Creek from advancing the ball into Jacket territory. “Our midfielders do a fantastic job of feeding us balls that we can make a play on,” said Phelps. “We get our energy by knowing that if we do just a little bit more out here, we can win these types of games. I feel like we did well controlling the ball and especially in the second half. We created chances and made the most of them. When they came out fast in the second half, you could see how our guys turned it back on and forced the ball into their part of the field. That’s what we need to do to be successful.” Sophomore Guy Mogge and freshman Hunter Penn gave the Jackets a big boost of the bench with energy and fresh legs. Both players were involved in plays that led to shot attempts against the Commodores. “We did a good job to get into position to run set plays that we practice all season,” said Watson. “Coach sets us up for these things and tonight we were able to execute. It always feels good to beat one of the Lexington schools. They always come in here and battle us hard.” “We have changed our defensive tactics a bit and have become more patient,” said coach Fonyam Atanga when asked about the recent string of games. “We have become a good counterattack team at this point and I believe our strength is in on the break and most breaks, we score. I did not expect to win by three nor did I expect to have a shutout tonight. I was pleasantly surprised tonight.”

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