MADISON — The Scott High School boys’ soccer team (4-0-1) hosted the Winfield High School Generals (1-1-1) last Wednesday, the first meeting between the Skyhawks and the Putnam County side this season.
In past years, Winfield had proven to be a difficult matchup for Scott, knocking them out of the sectional tournament in both 2018 and 2019. Even with COVID-19 affecting both teams’ seasons, the Skyhawks went into the match with something to prove.
A large majority of the first half of the contest involved a brisk back-and-forth between the two sides. The Hawks and Generals exchanged the momentum multiple times, but no one quite found the back of the net until the half’s waning minutes — with 13:15 left on the clock. The first team to make an impact was Scott, when senior Ian Gillispie received the 1-2 pass from fellow senior Carson Asbury, shooting for the left post and taking the lead over the team’s perennial challengers.
Asbury himself scored the 2-0 with 10 minutes left after picking up a pass through the midfield from sophomore Isaac Setser. The first half lead was diminished slightly by a goal against the Black-and-Gold six minutes later, following an unfortunate deflection off senior goalkeeper Gregory Howard. Winfield junior Rucker Smith closed the deficit to 2-1 before halftime.
The second half of the game saw Asbury and Gillispie take turns scoring goals for Scott High, to the delight of the families in the stands. At 34:47, an opportunity opened up for Asbury and senior Lucas Older, the latter of whom got the ball to the former against Winfield’s junior GK Nick Lanham. The ball flipped over Lanham and was flicked into the goal by Asbury in impressive form. The chain of goals that cemented the game for Scott, however, took place much later in the second half.
With 15:27 to go, Older directed a 1-2 pass in the box to Gillispie, who quickly scored the 4-1 goal and his second of the game. Nearly five minutes later, senior Tanner Hale assisted Asbury on a well-timed deflected shot that found the net and made the game 5-1, granting Asbury his hattrick. The final 6-1 goal was assisted by Asbury, who sent a key pass to Gillispie following a steal less than a minute later. Gillispie joined the other senior in completing a hattrick that evening, putting away the match and giving the Scott boys’ soccer program its first win over the Generals.
Scott Head Coach Zach Boyd was pleased with the win, and glad to see Scott perform well even without a tune-up match before meeting Winfield. He noted that any rustiness seemed to be reserved during the earlier part of the first half.
“It seemed like the boys, once they put the ball in the back of the net, they seemed to settle down a little bit,” Boyd said.
Being able to finally defeat the Generals was a good feeling, and a great win for the program at Scott High.
“This is one (the players) have had circled on their schedule all year,” Boyd said.
In the usual determined fashion, Boyd said, the team will not let the win keep them from looking forward to the future. The team’s next game was the following night against AAA team Cabell Midland, a different kind of challenge entirely. Boyd said the first practice back after the previous weeks’ hiatus due to coronavirus was a jubilant one, and that the boys’ love for the game seems to have grown since getting the green light to practice and play again. Most of all, Boyd said, the chemistry on the roster is key to its success.
“They’re not just teammates, they’re friends,” Boyd said. “Their friendship shows on the field and in practice. It doesn’t happen very often, that you have 22 players that all get along, and we’ve got that right now. It’s extremely exciting.”
Seniors Carson Asbury and Ian Gillispie led in scoring with their three goals each. Asbury and senior Lucas Older each tallied two assists to lead their team, with senior Tanner Hale and sophomore Isaac Setser each recording one. Winfield’s sole goal-scorer was junior Rucker Smith. Scott GK Gregory Howard’s one goal against did not reflect his entire game, as he and Scott’s defense worked together for him to record three saves.
Scott (6-0-1) was set to visit Point Pleasant Senior/Middle (6-3-4) on Oct. 8, but will have to sit out this week as Boone County was designated as orange on the state’s school re-entry map. Winfield (2-2-1) plays at Hurricane (3-2) at 11 a.m. on Oct. 10.