Cyclones stop Junior Bucs in district match

By Jeff Birchfield

   In a rough and tumble affair, Elizabethton beat University High 3-0 at Dave Rider Field on Tuesday night to stay perfect in district play.
   The Cyclones (2-0 in District 1 A-AA, 3-1 overall) helped their cause being the attacking team for the majority of the game.
   "Early in the game we had a lot of chances, but didn't put them away," said EHS head soccer coach Bill McClay. "We could have easily had two or three goals in the first ten minutes. We got three goals and survived. I'm pretty happy. It was a physical game, but we kept our cool."
   The Cyclones surged ahead 1-0 at the 27-minute mark when Robert Cogan did a masterful job working around the UH defenders and kicked to Kyle Germaine, who scored on a header.
   Elizabethton's Chris Wilson showed great closing speed on the ball later in the half. He barely missed on a head shot with three minutes left in the half as the Junior Bucs trailed only by one at the intermission.
   With a strong defense, the Cyclones allowed only a few shots on goal throughout the contest. When one did occur, goalkeeper Ben Casey kept UH honest.
   "Benny played a big game," said McClay. "That was our first shutout of the year. They didn't have many real hard shots. Most of his decisions of when to come out of the box, he did that real well. One time when he came out of the box the guy knocked the ball past him and he was able to dive on it."
   The Cyclones threatened to blow open the game early in the second half when Cogan hit a shot that sailed over the football goalpost. Fancy footwork by Josh Fair and Derek Slagle kept the ball on the offensive side of the field.
   University High did keep the game within one score for the majority of the contest showing a lot of fire and determination.
   Eventually the speed of the Cyclones proved to much to overcome with Adam Green assisting on a header scored by Cogan at the 30:00 mark in the second half. Cogan had a game-high eight shots on goal for the night.
   Slagle's penalty kick bounced off the near post in the final minutes that would have added additional cushion. A final score came with a little over a minute left in the match, when Jeff Allman scored his first goal of the season on a second penalty kick.
   "This was my first chance at a penalty kick," said Allman. "I didn't know it was going to happen. I was a little nervous I would hit it a little wide or something or end up kicking it over the goal."
   After only four games, the Cyclones have already had six players score goals compared to three players the entire 2003 season. Their goal production is on schedule for a new school record.
   "In the first half, we had six shots from about six yards," said McClay. "As the game wore on we beat them to the loose balls. We've already had six players score and we've had 12 goals so far this year. We only scored 16 all of last season. That's one of the big things we wanted to make sure we did this year. In four games, we have given up four goals and scored 12, that's a pretty good ratio."