Confident Knights defeats Woodrow Wilson in soccer
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Tuesday night at Paul Cline Stadium, an upstart Cabell Midland High School boys soccer team came to Beckley looking to open some eyes with a marquee win over Woodrow Wilson.
Mission accomplished. The Knights remained unbeaten with a 3-1 victory.
“We have a group of upperclassmen and some freshmen that we mix in and we have been working really hard on team unity,” Cabell Midland head coach Brian McNeel said. “This has to be one of the best technically skilled teams we have had at Cabell Midland and they doing a great job working together.”
Entering the game undefeated on the young season, the Knights opened the game as the aggressor and dominated play early.
“I thought we would come in kind of timid and quiet, but I can’t doubt these kids one bit. They were ready to bring it tonight,” McNeel said.
With the Flying Eagles being a bit loose with the ball early, some unforced turnovers turned into good chances for the visitors.
The first Woodrow turnover resulted in a shot from sophomore midfielder Garrett Shields that went just wide. Minutes later, Shields again took a turnover and side-stepped goalie Elijah McKan for a clear look. As the ball rolled for the net, Evan Donatelli raced back and cleared it just in time to prevent the score.
Midland kept the pressure on when senior Cole Burd broke free and was one-on-one with McKan, but a sliding save kept the match scoreless.
“Woodrow’s goalie is really good, as is ours,” McNeel said. “It seemed like we were going back and forth with saves.”
But in an aggressive game, the direct kicks began to mount and in minute 18, Simon Anton blasted a direct kick with his left foot high into the right corner of the net, giving Midland a 1-0 advantage.
Woodrow Wilson had two good looks before the halftime horn sounded, but a save from keeper Cameron Grobe and a cross that just missed its target sent the match to halftime with the score remaining 1-0.
Woodrow Wilson (3-1-1) started the second half on the attack, but an unfortunate takedown in the box resulted in a penalty kick for Midland (4-0-0). Omar Baryun was true on the try and the Knights quickly had a 2-0 lead just two minutes into the second half.
Refusing to quit, the Flying Eagles kept the pressure on the Knights.
With 15 minutes to play, a deep direct kick from Joseph Wells was played by Chase Harrison off the bounce. Harrison launched a perfect header over Grobe to cut the lead in half.
With McKan rejecting chances on his end, Woodrow attacked on the other end. Inside 10 minutes, the Flying Eagles had two golden opportunities for a score — the first shot was thwarted by Grobe and the second went wide.
Baryun ended the hopes of a Woodrow Wilson comeback when he scored his second goal with just over one minute to play to seal the match.