Cyclones match team record for most victories in a season

By Marvin Birchfield

   With the clock winding down and facing the prospect of a tie game, the Cyclones found what they were searching for just in the nick of time.
   A goal with five minutes left in regulation was the deciding factor in Elizabethton's soccer match with David Crockett, as the Cyclones pulled out the close decision of 1-0.
   "We finally got the goal and kept them out for a shutout, which I love getting a shutout and I'm happy with that," said Elizabethton coach Bill McClay. "We held our ground and kept our cool, and that's important heading into the playoffs next week, because you've got to have focus going into that."
   The Cyclones were seeking revenge after being handed a 5-1 loss earlier in the year, and sophomore Adam Green stepped up on both sides of the field to make the difference.
   An inbounds pass inside from the Pioneers' Mark Whitson to Kaanon Adams nearly scored on a head shot. The only thing standing between a Crockett and the lead was Green.
   After the nice defensive play, Green received the ball on the other side of the field, where he finished off the play with nice juke to shoot the game-winning goal.
   "I was pretty excited, and the team played as hard as we could to come out on top," said Green. "We had to work pretty hard to get the ball up on the offensive end and play some tough defense to keep them out of the goal."
   The victory improved Elizabethton's record to 7-6-1 on the year, tying for the most wins in a Cyclone season.
   The Cyclones had several opportunities in the first half, but never managed to get a shot to go in.
   "We needed to make more of the opportunities in the first half -- we had a couple of really good chances in the box and didn't convert," said McClay. "We had the ball across the front of the mouth of the goal and nobody there to put it away a couple of times."
   Crockett's chances came mostly in the first half, as seven shots were taken in the first 40 minutes and only one during the second half.
   "I wasn't real happy in the first half because we gave away too many corner kicks," said McClay. "I think that was because the sun was in their eyes, and they couldn't pick the ball up that easily. For as many as we gave up, I was happy we didn't let them score."
   In the second half, Elizabethton seemed to control the field position for the first 20 minutes.
   A shot by Robert Cogan sailed over the net after he received a nice pass from Chris Wilson early in the second half.
   "I should have took some more shots earlier, but I wasn't paying attention and trying to make a better play," said Wilson. "We played a pretty good game tonight and hopefully we can do the same Thursday."
   The Pioneers came up with several stops to keep the Cyclones off the board, as Elizabethton was taking just a little too much time in getting a shot off.
   The defense for Elizabethton did a good job by getting back and not allowing any breakaway shot attempts.
   Jeff Alman and Kyle Germaine both were on their toes to eliminate Crockett's chances on offense.
   A steal from Kenneth Simerly on an inbounds play and pass to Troy McCoy almost gave the Pioneers the seam they were needing, but a great dive toward the ball and stop from goalie Ben Carey denied the opportunity.
   Finally Green came through for the Cyclones in the final minutes to give them the win. His shot sailed to the left past the goalie.
   "I'm really pleased -- any win makes us happy," said Green. "This ties the record for most wins in a season, and hopefully we can go out Thursday and get that record. I just want to thank my teammates for playing hard."
   The last scoring opportunity for the Cyclones came when Ryan Gough made a long pass downfield, but Wilson was unable to gain control.
   "Having to play JV and varsity is tiring, but I gave it all for the team and it'll stay that way," said Wilson.
   Elizabethton visits Chuckey-Doak on Thursday for a 4:30 p.m. match.