The Cottage School Soccer Cougars won their fifth straight AAC Championship on Thursday, defeating Mill Springs 6-0 in Alpharetta. The Cougars defeated their conference rivals in true team fashion as all players contributed to the resounding victory.

The Cougars and Mustangs both started slowly, as neither team was able to score in the first 20 minutes. The Cougar defense was solid, allowing the Mustangs only a few shooting opportunities. Elijah Joiner, Braden Kramer, Alex Hogg, Charlie Kish, and Nick Smith left the Mustang attack little space and goalie Aidan Briggs was only required to make 3 saves. The Cougars finally broke the deadlock through a long solo fun from Daniel Byman. Byman weaved his way past several defenders before blasting a shot past the keeper to put TCS ahead. Just a few minutes later, Byman doubled the Cougar lead with a volleyed shot from the top of the box. Ruslan van Kesteren provided a creative assist. Gabe Belden, Liam Walsh, Nick Rice, and Sam Bayer all played crucial roles in the Cougar build up play throughout the first half as well.

Just after the break, Byman completed his hat trick. Following an aggressive throw-in from Blake Lackey, Byman easily finished off his hat trick and extinguished any hope for a MSA comeback. Javier Cremer, Alex Yager, Schuyler Nebel, Jack McGrew, Lillian Travis, Michael Coryer, and Anthony Kovach provided attacking depth for the Cougars. Thanks to their effort, Mill Springs were never able to put together sustained attacking pressure. Anika Helm and Nick Elliott added defensive support and contributed to the Cougars’ clean sheet.

Camden Michaud converted a Byman pass into the 4th Cougar goal with about 20 minutes to play in the game. Byman then added two more goals of his own, one of which was assisted by defender Elijah Joiner.

The Cougars are grateful to all who came out in support, including family members, TCS staff, alumni, and friends. This championship would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the TCS community throughout the season. We have almost certainly qualified for the state playoffs as well. Though we must wait for our regional foes to complete their regular season schedules, we expect to play in the first round on either May 3rd or 4th. Stay tuned for further updates!