• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Boys’ soccer finishes regular season with win


GAVIN NICHOLSON fights for a loose ball with Frederick Douglass player Innocent Lumona in the game at Frederick Douglass high school on Oct. 5. The Jackets won the game 5-1. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School boys’ soccer team was dominant in its performance against Frederick Douglass on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Jackets wrapped up their regular season with the victory on the road. After a scoreless first half, the Jackets made some adjustments and stretched the Broncos’ defense and found openings in the middle. Senior midfielder Drew Blaydes scored on a direct kick after a foul call. Blaydes sent a rocket over a four-man wall and past the keeper to get the scoring started. A few minutes later, junior forward Brandon Cromwell scored on a header to make the score 2-0. Cromwell scored again a few minutes later on a laser sent by the diving Broncos’ keeper to make the score 3-0. Cromwell struck for a third time in the game to get the hat trick and the Jackets were controlling the ball and the game. A bit of misfortune for the Jackets came a minute after Cromwell’s third goal, as a handball was called on the Jackets resulting in a penalty kick. The Broncos converted to make the score 4-1 but the Woodford pressure would not be denied, as sophomore forward Mason Coburn scored on a diving keeper to make the score 5-1. The Jackets played keep-away for much of the remainder of the game. “I think we were surprised by how they came out and played us early on in the game,” said Coach Fonyam Atanga. “The game was super tight early on and we weren’t sure how to handle what they were throwing at us. We talked at half time about stretching them out a bit to see if we can open things up in the middle and then if they got tight inside, then we could be more aggressive on the outside. Our job as coaches is to help the kids understand how to adjust and once they figured out how to find gaps, we were able to score. We had not faced anyone all season that defended like that against us so it was nice for the guys to see something different like this and learn how to adjust.” The Jackets head into the district tournament with a 2-1 district record and were also 8-4 in regional play. Cromwell led the team in goals for the regular season with a total of 11, Blaydes finished second with 10 and Chris Phelps had nine. Phelps was also the team leader in assists with eight and Cromwell was next with four. Chris Ramirez finished the season with a total of six shutouts and the Jackets have only allowed one goal in their last five games.

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