GRAFTON— After a break in action, due to a lack of officiates for their contests, causing cancelations, the Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Knights soccer team finally made a return to the turf trampling over the Mountaineer Middle School (MMS) Mountain Lions by a score of 3-1.
According to Head Coach Travis Uhl, the Knights got off to a good start, making a quick score from a corner kick taken by Charlie Halfin. The ball was picked up by Brayden “Beastmode” Bailey, who made the finish on Halfin’s kick, and connected with a great header into the corner of the net.
This goal came just five minutes into action, and the Knights kept the momentum going throughout the duration of play.
Just ten minutes later, the TCMS offense struck again. This time, it would be Knight Kaige Andrews on the assist from Noah Uhl, to put the Knights up 2-0 before halftime.
“I thought the boys started the game well,” Uhl shared. “We had some great passing and maintained possession most of the first half.”
Taylor County came out of the break with the same fire, controlling much of the game for the second half of action, as well completing precise passes and showing good ball handling.
While the Mountain Lions worked to pull together some offense and stage a comeback, adjusting to keep up with the fast pace and aggressive play coming from the Knights, TCMS continued to put the pressure on.
After a quite start to the second half, Andrews would find Uhl, who was able to make a move past his defenders and send one passed the MMS goalie, putting TCMS up 3-0.
However, the Mountain Lions refused to go quietly, connecting for a goal of their own.
The Mountaineer Middle goal came off of a throw in with the player receiving the toss near the TCMS goal. Quick on his feet, the Mountain Lion made a swift move, a good pass and was able to find the back of the net on a perfectly placed ball.
However, the Knights would still come away with the win, as this was the Mountain Lion’s only goal of the game.
“I was really pleased with how the boys played. They played a great team game and came away with the W,” Uhl voiced.
Later, the Knights would match up against the Robert L. Bland (RLB) Patriots, but unfortunately, would not fare as well.
Although the contest started with pretty even play, as the Knights matched the pace set by the Patriots, RLB was able to pull ahead and secure a 1-0 victory over TCMS.
“I felt we matched up well with the Patriots,” Uhl commented. “We had some great possessions in their half of the field.”
The contest only yielded one goal, which came from RLB near the 20-minute mark, when the Patriots earned a corner kick, and loaded the box, something the Knights found difficulty in clearing.
Taylor County did have scoring opportunities with four of their six shot on goal coming during the first half, but they were unable to capitalize on any of the attempts.
“Our attack slowed a bit in the second half, as they (RLB) adjusted their formation and kept a midfielder back,” said Uhl.
Despite being a bit quicker than their opponent, luck just wasn’t on their side, and the Knights remained unable to execute a scoring play.
“I felt we had more speed up top then they had on their back line, and if we could have just got one through, we would have scored,” Uhl remarked.
He went on to say that although they had hoped to claim the back-to-back wins, they are fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to play at all after difficulties finding referees for previously scheduled games.
The TCMS Knights were back in action last Knight, as they hosted West Fairmont Middle. This contest served as eighth grade night and will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Statesman.
Individual Stats TCMS vs. MMS: Noah Uhl: 3 SOG, 1 steal, 1 assist, 1 goal, Bryce Kelley: 1 SOG, 7 steals, 3 intercepts, Brayden Bailey: 1 goal, 1 shot, 2 steals, 2 intercepts, Kaige Andrews: 1 goal, 3 shots, 1 assist, Gage Alexander: 2 shots, 1 steal, 4 intercepts, Cameron Gray: 2 shots, 1 steal, 1 intercept, Noah Foley: 2 steals.
Individual Stats TCMS vs. RLB: Tyler Clemm: 10 saves, Bryce Kelley: 7 intercepts, 2 steals, 1 SOG, Noah Foley: 4 intercepts, 1 steal, 1 SOG, Noah Uhl: 1 SOG, Kaige Andrews: 2 SOG, Brayden Bailey: 1 shot, 1 intercept, Charlie Halfin: 1 intercept, Cameron Gray: 1 SOG, 1 steal, Parker Riffle: 1 steal.