Cyclones fall short vs. UH

By Matt Hill

   Neither University High or Elizabethton could grab the momentum in the first half of their soccer match on Tuesday night.
   Burl Williams made sure the Junior Bucs seized the game in the opening minute of the second half.
   Williams' goal just a minute into the second half propelled University
   High to a 2-0 win over the Cyclones on senior night at Dave Rider Field.
   Nobody could take control in the first half, but University High saw room for improvement in the second half.
   The Junior Bucs fixed their mistakes and took over the contest.
   "We weren't passing the ball very well first half," Williams said. "They came out and played well with intensity. We just picked up our pace. Our goalkeeper, John Tillman, was keeping us in it in the first half. We
   just came out and played hard, and did what we could."
   Just 14 minutes later, Matt Conley scored for the Junior Bucs to give them a 2-0 advantage.
   "I think when we get out ahead of teams, we get a little more confidence and all that kind of stuff," Williams said. "It builds up the guys. I didn't play very well in the first half, so I just came out and played hard in the second half. I just tried to get the ball to my friends, and did what I could."
   The Cyclones couldn't recover from the two UH goals, as the game was pretty much played on their side of the field in the second half.
   Elizabethton head coach Bill McClay thought his team allowed that to happen.
   "I think we allowed it," McClay said. "We weren't near as aggressive as we were in the first half. We weren't running for each other nearly as well. We could probably point to 100 different things that we didn't do in the second half.
   "In the first half we played fine. We controlled the field, and we even had chances in the second half. We took some poor shots. The biggest thing we've been stung by this year is that when we make a mistake, it's killed us."
   It looked like in the opening three minutes that this was going to be a different outcome. Elizabethton nearly scored to start the game, and had several good shots in the first half.
   McClay definitely thought the Cyclones had their opportunities early on.
   "We nearly scored about three minutes into the game," McClay said. "We basically controlled the first half. We just weren't able to put it away."
   It was not a senior night that Brad Borland, Charlie Crowe, Sam Francisco, Gavin McKinney, Jason Oliver, Andrew Roberson and Andy Ross wanted, but McClay was still proud of this group.
   "All of the guys, whether or not they get a lot of playing time, have been supportive of the program," McClay said. "Most of them have been here four years. I was hoping to get every one of them in a little bit tonight, but the way the score went there just wasn't any way I could do that."
   Williams said he didn't want his team to ruin the festivities, but the Junior Bucs just did what they had to do.
   "We don't want to ruin anybody's senior night," he said. "But we can't let them get away with an easy one, either. They're always a tough team, and it's always hard playing them over here."
   * Senior Andy Ross will sign a letter of intent to play soccer for Milligan College this afternoon at EHS. Ross also ran cross country and wrestled for the Cyclones.