Wildcats unbeaten through first three
by Justin McGill, Executive Editor - jmcgill@cadizrecord.com
Aug 26, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trigg County opened 4th District play Monday with a seesaw battle at Caldwell County. The Wildcats led 2-0, then allowed four straight Tiger goals before salvaging a 4-4 tie on a last-minute penalty kick.

Trigg scored its first two goals on a penalty kick by Blaine Alexander followed by a goal by Jared Stallons assisted by Ezra McNichols.

“We played extremely well for the first 25 or 30 minutes and held possession in the midfield,” Trigg head coach Josh Nichols said.

Caldwell netted its first goal late in the first half, then Jesse Sherrill scored twice to put the Tigers ahead. Caldwell scored its fourth goal with about 10 minutes left in the game.

“The second half wasn’t nearly as good for us,” Nichols said. “We got away from what we do well and let Caldwell speed the game up and dictate tempo. We seemed to lose our nerve and began just hitting the ball forward and not supporting our forward [Stallons].”

The ‘Cats rebounded after that. Trigg goalkeeper Kevin Latham sent a punt to Devon Wharton, who got behind Caldwell’s defense and converted a scoring chance. Trigg continued to pressure the Tiger defense, earning a series of corner kicks that ended with Alexander being fouled in the goal box and earning another penalty kick, which he sent in the net with less than a minute left to tie the game.

“The defense played pretty well, although we let Sherrill get loose and he made us pay,” Nichols said. “For long stretches in the first half, we held possession and played well, but the second half we absorbed a lot of pressure. It’s never good to lose a lead, but the kids showed a lot of heart coming back late.”

Trigg lost in junior varsity action 9-1. Clark Adams scored Trigg’s only goal on an assist by Romaine Cunningham.

Thursday, the Wildcats played their first home contest of the season and came away with a 3-0 win over Reidland.

“Whenever we get a shutout, I’m going to be pleased,” Nichols said. “I think we’re going to continue to get better. There’s lots of things we can improve on. It’s encouraging when you win 3-0 and can still point out things that can be better.”

Trigg got on the board early against the Greyhounds. Less than seven minutes in, senior Jeremy Butts sent a shot off the crossbar, and Stallons settled the ball in front of the goal and scored. About eight minutes later, sophomore midfielder Joel Ben Thomas got his head on a crossing pass near the net and Stallons converted the chance to put Trigg ahead 2-0. Freshman forward Colten Bridges scored the final goal of the night in the 70th minute.

“We passed better than we did in the alumni game,” Nichols said. “We had stretches against Fort Campbell where we passed the ball well, but we still haven’t put together 80 minutes where we control possession like I think we’re capable of. With the four midfielders we’ve got, we should really dominate possession in the midfield.”

Trigg recorded 23 shots in the contest, and Latham made seven saves.

Heading into Tuesday’s district match against Lyon County (results unavailable at press time) and Monday’s tilt at Todd County Central, Nichols said Trigg would continue to work on improving its defense and ball control.

“We’ll keep stressing defense,” Nichols said. “I don’t want defensive breakdowns, but our defense has exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds so far. A lot of that has to do with help they get from the midfield, and as they get stronger on their own, we can start pushing our midfielders up into the offense. Everything starts in the back for us.”
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