The Cottage School Cougars kept their winning ways going heading into their Spring Break with wins over Cumberland Academy of Georgia and Creekside Christian Academy last week. The Cougars defeated Cumberland 6-0 and Creekside 8-5 on consecutive days and are now an even 3-3 on the season.

The Cougars scored early and often vs Cumberland. Blake Lackey opened the Cougars’ account with a goal inside of the first 10 minutes. Javier Cremer nearly notched his first goal of the season, but his attempt was well saved by the Cumberland keeper. Liam Walsh then doubled the Cougars’ lead following a long run down the left wing. Nick Rice broke through the Cumberland defense and blasted a low shot past the keeper, but was denied by the post. Daniel Byman unleashed a shot from distance to make the score 3-0, and Alex Hogg found the back of the net just before halftime to record his first career goal and widen the Cougar lead to 4-0.

The second half began with a breakaway goal by Braden Kramer. Not long after, Nick Rice redeemed himself from his first half miss and calmly finished past the keeper to score his first goal of the season. The Cougars played excellent defense throughout the contest. Aidan Briggs and Gabe Belden both played keeper and combined to keep a clean sheet. Alex Hogg, Anika Helm, Sam Bayer, Charlie Kish, Nick Elliott, Ruslan van Kesteren, Nick Smith, Michael Coryer, and Jack McGrew all contributed to the defensive effort. They played as a unified group and allowed Cumberland no clear scoring opportunities.

The Cougars had to bounce back quickly as they traveled to McDonough, GA the very next day to take on Creekside Christian Academy. Neither the cold, windy weather nor the 90 minute drive distracted the Cougars in the least. They once again got off to a quick start and pounced on the unsuspecting home side. Nick Rice and Daniel Byman both had scoring opportunities early on but they were unable to capitalize. Byman then got onto the score sheet after earning and finishing a penalty. Blake Lackey produced two shots on goal, but both were denied by the keeper. Camden Michaud was monumental as a defensive midfielder in the first half, denying Creekside any attacking opportunities and distributing the ball to the Cougar attack. Daniel Byman was able to shake free from the Creekside defense for 4 goals in quick succession midway through the first half. Three goals came at the end of lovely solo dribbling efforts, and one was beautifully assisted by Gabe Belden. Daniel then earned 2 more penalties, one of which was scored by Camden Michaud, the other was taken by Gabe Belden but denied by the keeper. The Cougars’ final goal of the first half was scored by Blake Lackey with a Byman assist. Though the Cougars allowed 2 Creekside goals, they led comfortably 7-2 at the half.

The second half was played at a slower pace. The Cougars tacked on another goal to bring their total to 8. Blake Lackey determinedly pushed the ball down the right wing and then found Gabe Belden in the middle of the box. Gabe finished past the keeper for his first goal of the season. Alex Yager, Lillian Travis, and Schuyler Nebel all provided essential hustle and energy throughout the match. Creekside were able to put three more goals into the net in the second half, but the Cougars were never truly threatened on their way to an 8-5 victory.

TCS returns to action on April 14 with a home match vs Cristo Rey, followed by a trip to rival Mill Springs Academy on April 16.