The Cottage School Cougars earned their first win of the season on Thursday, beating Mill Springs Academy 6-0. The Cougars started slowly but put together a strong second half and won comfortably in a game in which all team members contributed.

The first 20 minutes of the game saw the teams trade possession in midfield repeatedly without creating any clear opportunities. Camden Michaud made two winding runs down the right wing and produced two shots on goal, both of which were saved by the MSA keeper. Mill Springs were able to produce a few long-range efforts of their own, but they were saved by TCS keeper Aidan Briggs. Daniel Byman then got in on the action for the Cougars, producing 4 shots on goal that were terrifically saved. The Cougars finally found the back of the net when Byman got on the end of a Gabe Belden corner kick. With his back to goal, Daniel flicked the ball up into the air and hit a lobbed bicycle kick shot over the keeper and just inside the far post. The Cougars then doubled their lead just before halftime. Schuyler Nebel hit a beautiful shot past the keeper that struck the underside of the cross bar and bounced straight down. Byman was there again to tap in the rebound. The Cougars also received offensive contributions from Nick Rice, Alex Yager, Sam Bayer, Liam Walsh, Michael Coryer, Javier Cremer, and Lillian Travis. The Cougars’ defense was anchored by Charlie Kish, Alex Hogg, Braden Kramer, and Nick Smith and Anika Helm, Nick Elliott, and Jack McGrew all contributed off the bench.

The Cougars continued their strong play in the second half, scoring early and often to put the contest out of reach. Daniel Byman scored 3 more goals, including a long range curling effort from outside the box. Gabe Belden and Nick Rice provided assists. Byman picked up an assist of his own on a cross played into Ruslan van Kesteren, who calmly placed the ball past the keeper from close range for his first goal of the season.

The Cougars will look to build on their momentum with 2 more games before Spring Break. They host Cumberland Academy on Wednesday and travel to McDonough to take on Creekside Christian Academy on Thursday.