The Cottage School Cougars closed out the regular season with a win on Friday vs AASD by a score of 5-0. The Cougars finished the regular season undefeated in conference play and head into the playoffs as the top seed.
TCS got off to a fast start on Friday. In another 7 vs 7 contest, the Cougars took advantage of the open space on the field to establish an early passing rhythm and dominate the Panthers. Toby Nwokedi, DJ Donaldson, and Elijah Joiner maintained a solid back line and did not allow the Panthers any early scoring opportunities. On the offensive end, Maria Knezek, Daniel Byman, and Shane Hendrickson combined to put pressure on AASD’s defense. Dalton Lantz, Ruslan van Kesteren, Paul Altermatt, and Tim Mattioli came off the bench to provide an offensive spark. Tim quickly began a long, winding run through the Panther’s defense at midfield but his shot was saved by the keeper. Maria Knezek alertly pounced on the rebound and fired it home for the opening goal of the game.
A few minutes later, Tim scored a goal of his own to double the Cougar lead. Daniel Byman then tacked on a third Cougar goal just before halftime to close out a dominant period from the Cougars. Aidan Briggs produced 6 saves to keep the Panthers scoreless. Mac DeBalsi, Emma Altermatt, Mitchell Starks, and Matthew Placide kept the Cougar defensive pressure high and didn’t allow the Panthers to create any real scoring chances. Javier Cremer, Nick Rice, Schuyler Nebel, and Alex Yager helped the Cougars control possession in the midfield. Colton Parks. Bryce Dickerson, Reese Silverman, and Liam Walsh provided energy and crafted a few scoring chances as attacking reinforcements.
In the second half, the Cougars continued to coast towards victory. All players were able to play and participate in the action. Daniel Byman added two more goals to complete his second hat trick of the week. Despite having a comfortable lead, Aidan Briggs remained focused on keeping a clean sheet. When the Panthers earned an indirect free kick inside the box, Aidan produced the save of the season on a shot that was blasted on goal from just 10 yards away. His goalkeeping heroics helped the Cougars secure their second clean sheet of the season, and the match ended with a score of 5-0.
The Cougars are now preparing for the AAC Tournament. They will face AASD again in the semifinals on Thursday, October 3rd. The game will be played at The Howard School in Midtown at 4 PM.