PRUNTYTOWN—On Thursday, the TCMS Knights boys’ soccer team took the pitch at McKinney Field against a tough Buckhannon-Upshur squad who had defeated the Knights by a score of 5-1 in their previous matchup on September 9th.
Things would be different this time around, however, as the Knights used a combination of heart, hustle, and pure skill to hold the Buccaneers to a scoreless 0-0 tie.
The Knights’ defense was spectacular all night as they limited the older, more experienced Buccaneer team to zero goals. TCMS goalkeeper Justin Gainer played possibly his best game ever, preserving the TCMS shutout from start to finish.
“Justin played lights out tonight” said TCMS head coach Travis Uhl. “It was some of the best keeper play I have seen in a long time. He probably had easily over a dozen saves. That doesn’t even take into account the shots that went wide.”
Uhl also mentioned a crazy header save that Gainer made, saving a goal for the Knights.
“Early in the contest, Buckhannon had the ball in the penalty area,” Uhl explained. “Stratten Wooddell stole the ball, but was limited with his options. He went to clear it out the back line, but it was right in front of the goal. As soon as he struck the ball, Gainer knew he could not handle the ball as it would result in an indirect kick for Buckhannon. Gainer did the only thing he could do and headed the ball over the net to save a goal. That header save set the tone and Justin was super pumped about it. I call him the Iceman because he is so cool back there and just does his job. His emotions showed after that and it inspired all of the others.”
All of the Knights had a hand in the total team effort, and Uhl was again quick to praise his defense for a job well done.
“I was really pleased with how the back line of Noah Foley, Landen Hulley, Stratten Woodell, Bryce Kelley, and Brayden Bailey played,” stated a proud Uhl. “You could see Buckhannon getting frustrated with our defensive play. The boys were pumped up.”
Another bright spot on the evening was the introduction of a local youth soccer program along with the Knights’ players at the beginning of the match.
“We had the U10 Storm introduced with us and our boys wanted to set an example of hard play and sportsmanship,” added Uhl. “They easily showed the younger boys what it means to play at the next level.”
The Knights will be back in action tonight as they travel to Randolph County to face off against Elkins Middle School.
That match is scheduled to start at 7:00pm.