Elizabethton gets past pesky Chuckey-Doak

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   Many of the Elizabethton Cyclone soccer players were expecting to walk over Chuckey-Doak.
   They were in for a surprise.
   The Cyclones made several good shot attempts, but nothing really went their way until the second half, when Derek Slagle put through two big goals to give Elizabethton a 3-1 victory at Rider Field Thursday night.
   Doak went on top first in the outing after the Cyclones went through eight close scoring opportunities. Elizabethton tied things up after the first half and wore the Black Knights down late in the match.
   "We showed up tonight thinking we're going to win," said Elizabethton coach Bill McClay. "We were out of sorts at the beginning. We had some really good shots, but their goalie made excellent plays. He stepped up big."
   "We had a couple off the crossbar and a couple go wide," he said. "It wasn't until we really settled down in the second half and knocked the ball around a bit (that we got the edge). Basically we made the goalkeeper move and whenever we got him moving around, we got better angles on shots."
   Slagle, Eric Crowe and Robert Cogan each missed the goal on shot attempts early in the match. Chuckey-Doak goalie Matt Scott went on a stretch where he made eight saves in the first half.
   The Cyclones got attempts from Justin Linebaugh and Crowe later, but the Black Knights broke loose and Jimmy Thatch scored off a high kick past Elizabethton's Ben Carey at 25:00.
   Three minutes later and the Cyclones were back in Knight territory. After two failed attempts, Ryan Gough stepped up for the team with a successful shot that tied things up going into the second half.
   Elizabethton had a hard time getting anything going in the second half. Cogan, Crowe and Slagle each had shots wind up in the hands of Scott.
   However, a toss in wound up at the feet of Slagle, who gave Elizabethton its first lead at 16:00.
   Chuckey-Doak wore down as the Cyclones controlled the majority of the possession time.
   Slagle stepped up again, after an assist from Cogan, to record his second goal at the 37:00 mark.
   "In the last 20 minutes of the second half, we dominated the play and they really didn't have much," said McClay. "We were still concerned. I really give their goalkeeper a lot of credit."
   Elizabethton scrimmaged Chuckey-Doak before the season with a 7-1 result to their favor.
   "We completely dominated our scrimmage," the coach said. "It was a 7-1 game and wasn't really close. They came out with a lot more intensity than we were prepared for and it showed.
   "But, we came back with the win, so that's good. Now we've got to reload and play D-B (tonight)."
   The Cyclones begin against the Dobyns-Bennett Indians, with junior varsity action opening things up at 5 p.m. The varsity kick off at 7 p.m.
   "We've played them every year, but we've never beat them," said McClay. "We've tied them once. We'd like to get one over on them. It's a test to see where we are and where we need to improve."