Cyclones push Indians to limit

By Ivan Sanders

   Sometimes a defeat is not always devastating to a team. The moral victory many times will pay off larger dues on down the road.
   Dobyns-Bennett, who carries one of the top soccer teams in the region year in and year out, defeated the homestanding Elizabethton Cyclones 3-0 on Friday night at Brown-Childress Stadium.
   The Tribe defeated the Cyclones last year 8-0, so this game provided a little mental victory with the closeness of the score. Take away a couple of mistakes and a penalty kick late and this match could have been entirely different.
   "We didn't let them run all over us this time," said head coach Bill McClay. "If we would have used some head shots in the first half instead of playing the ball after it bounced in front of us, it might have been a different outcome."
   The Indians' Tim Weatherford staked the visitors to an early 1-0 lead six minutes into the first half on a nice cross kick that barely eluded the diving Ben Carey of the Cyclones.
   Carey, a freshman goal keeper for the Cyclones, had an outstanding game as he made several goal-saving shots on the evening for EHS.
   Carey made one mistake at the 15:00 mark of the first half as the young goalie came too far out on defense, and Nick Cooper of the Tribe made him pay dearly as he drilled a goal unassisted into the net for a 2-0 Dobyns-Bennett lead.
   The Cyclones were only able to send five shots-on-goal at the Indian goal keeper in the opening half.
   "We definitely didn't generate a whole lot of offense tonight," stated McClay. "We were rushing shots and actually kicking the ball away when we didn't have to."
   Whenever the Cyclones drove deep into the box area, the Indians dropped back and gave enough support to their goalie to keep the Cyclones at bay.
   The second half saw a different Cyclone team as the seniors gathered the troops together before taking the field and revved their teammates up.
   Each team was up to the challenge as the Cyclones took several onslaughts by the Tribe in the half. Carey once again played phenomenal in front of the net and EHS rallied around their goalie each time D-B made an offensive threat.
   Said McClay: "We really seemed more mentally focused on not getting beat by our man that we couldn't really force anything at them. We kept backing up and they kept coming."
   The last goal of the game came on a penalty kick by Cooper for his second goal of the night. The kick came directly from the front of the box and Carey was unable to get a hand on it.
   Playing after an unexpected loss to Central earlier in the week, the Cyclones can take heart in the fact they stood toe to toe with a tough District 1 AAA school with a noted history of soccer success.
   "We still have some matches left," quipped McClay. "If we can grow from matches like this we will be OK."
   Added McClay: "We have Central one more time. I know these guys can even that series out, especially here at home."
   The Cyclones will have to regroup quickly as they have three matches coming up in this week. They will be taking on an unknown in Marion, Va. at home on Tuesday, while traveling to North on Thursday and Tennessee High on Friday for matches.