The TCS Soccer Cougars started their season with a tough away matchup against the undefeated Holy Spirit Prep Cougars on Wednesday in Atlanta. HSP was already 3-0 coming into the contest, and TCS had only a handful of practices under their belt so far this season. HSP came away with the victory, but TCS represensented themselves well and had moments that they will look to build on as they move forward in their season.

HSP started quickly, pouncing on a TCS defensive mistake to score the opening goal of the game within the first 2 minutes of play. TCS responded with strength, though, and the score remained 1-0 for the next 15 minutes. TCS was then broken down defensively by an intricate passing move, leading to a second HSP goal midway through the first half. HSP tacked on two more goals just before halftime to make the score 4-0. Throughout the first half, the defense communicated well and covered for each other. HSP was drawn offside a few times and had other scoring opportunities thwarted by last ditch tackles and blocks.

HSP continued to pressure TCS in the second half and ultimately scored 3 more goals to make the final score 7-0. TCS displayed admirable determination and fortitude, though. Rather than hang their heads or allow their effort to wane, TCS contested every loose ball, applied continuous defensive pressure, and relentlessly attempted to break down the HSP defense. TCS’s best scoring chance came in the second half. Daniel Byman earned a free kick in an attacking position and played a dangerous cross into the box. HSP had to scramble defensively to clear the ball away and preserve their clean sheet.

TCS will have to bounce back quickly, as they travel to East Atlanta on Friday to take on Cristo Rey.

Game notes: Daniel Byman gave high praise to keeper Aidan Briggs for his performance, saying, “Aidan was a beast in goal today.” Aidan produced 12 saves, several of which required him to come off his line to deny HSP in 1-on-1 opportunities. He also distributed the ball well from goal, leading directly to TCS’s best attacking opportunities.

Alex Hogg produced a goal-saving block in the first half. Kyle Kimble displayed his electric pace as he tracked HSP wingers up and down the sideline. Elijah Joiner and Nick Smith anchored the center of the TCS defense.

Please congratulate the following players for their hard work in their Varsity Soccer debut match: Gabe Belden, Michael Coryer, Lillian Travis, Sam Bayer, Camden Michaud, Jack McGrew, Blake Lackey, Anthony Kovach, Charlie Kish