Congrats to the varsity soccer team who have now won three straight GISA contests in a row, including last night’s road win over St. George. Earlier in the season the Cougars lost 4-1 to this team but last night the boys continued playing great team futbol and are now tied for second in region play. This victory also guaranteed a state playoff game on 10/1 down at Strong Rock Christian. We will either be the #2 or the #3 seed based on what happens the final few weeks. If the playoffs started now, we would face St. George again in the rubber-match for a right to the GISA fall soccer state title match on 10/2.

Cougars jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with a relentless attack from Daniel Byman, Gabe Belden, and Blake Lackey up front. Daniel scored a solo shot in the first two minutes then followed with another from a nice feed from Blake. St. George answered with a goal off a mistake on defense that provided early exciting, but nail-biting action. The second twenty minutes was all TCS. The Cougars won all the 50/50 balls, led by Jack Kane, Alex Hogg, and Weston Kershner at the fullback/midfield positions. Liam Walsh took a shot off a great feed from Byman and hit the crossbar bouncing back to the center of the box. Lackey was lurking and headed a nice goal for a 3-1 lead. Just before the half ended, Byman scored another outstanding goal, slicing through the St. George defense.

The second half proved the first was no fluke for the Cougars. Outside of the final three minutes when everyone could tell the game was over and players were playing different positions, TCS held St. George scoreless. Much of that was the outstanding display of keeper skills by Aidan Briggs. The Captain goalie leaped and dove for a total of 10 saves, five of which were incredible. There was one where he jumped to his right to save a shot close to the left post. Aidan’s body was above the ground about five feet in the air and fully extended as he had a cape on trying out for a stunt double in Superman. Just as the St. George striker thought he had an easy goal, Briggs slapped it to the ground. Another striker was right there to clean it up but his cat-like reflexes pounced on the ball immediately after landing on the grass.

Daniel Byman went on to score one more goal (giving him four for the game-more on that later) mid-way through the second half. It came from one of the more perfect ground ball passes one may witness, from Aiden Spies. The Cougars took a 5-1 lead. About 10 minutes later the Cougars had a corner kick on the right side. Gabe Belden sent a beauty in front of the box that was deflected into the air on the far-left post. Jack Kane had his back turned and as nobody thought he could see the ball dropping ever-so softly behind him, Jack did. He positioned himself and timed the backwards header just right, bouncing the ball into the back of the net. The Cougars took the 6-1 lead and held it that way until the final few minutes. Cougars prevailed 6-3.

On the note of Daniel’s four goals; he now has 17 goals in the last three straight GISA games in these past two weeks. This breaks a school record for goals in three games and for goals versus GISA opponents. He now has 27 goals in just 6 games! As mentioned with Hogg, Kane, and Kershner also Jackson Barnes, Anthony Kovach, and Charles Young played outstanding defense. Blake Lackey led the team with 4 steals. Alex Hogg’s effort versus their freshman phenom could not be put into words. Their #24 is a top talent and is already one of the top players in the state. Hogg’s assignment was to be a mad yellow jacket to his side, and it worked. #24 scored one goal, but Alex made it so hard for him to get clean looks.

Another note…this is just the second time in school history where a Cougar team sport has won multiple games over GISA opponents. Not since the 2013 varsity boys’ basketball squad has a TCS team sport won four or more GISA games in the same season.

The Cougars will play two more this week; both of which are AAC home contests. Howard today at 3:15PM.

Congrats to coaches Hector and Greg for leading and growing this team. Cougars still have much to improve to be ready for a strong performance at state, but the growth in attitude and teamwork in the last three weeks have been a joy to witness and we cannot be more proud!