By LOGAN DARNELL
For the Coal Valley News
MADISON - Beginning the week ranked No. 1 in the state for A-AA soccer, the 5-0 Scott boys soccer team challenged the 3-3-0 Point Pleasant Senior/Middle School Big Blacks last Tuesday at the Hawks' home field.
For much of the game, the two sides were well-matched. Scott pressed hard and earned more chances, generating 12 shots on goal over the 80 minutes played. Junior Carson Asbury led the Skyhawks in shots with five.
Not only that, but Asbury scored the lone goal in the contest, flicked in off a throw-in in front of the net. Asbury was assisted by fellow junior Jerod Ferrell, who gave the throw-in.
The defense did well to prevent Point Pleasant from coming up with too many chances. Scott's goalkeeper, junior Greg Howard, only needed to stop one shot, which he did late in the game.
Between the backline and goalkeeping, Scott has been a difficult side to score against in the early stages of the season. While Point Pleasant never gave up, the home team kept their then-undefeated streak going as the clock wound down and the Skyhawks took home their sixth win of 2019.
Coach Zach Boyd acknowledged the hard-fought victory afterward, saying the game had the feel of a playoff match.
"Two of the better teams in Region IV. Point Pleasant is a very strong team, defensively," says Boyd, "I feel we have a pretty decent attack, and we also have a fairly strong defense. It was a very good defensive matchup tonight."
Boyd says the goal from Asbury was a perfect situational goal that made the difference in the game. Passing, teamwork, and familiarity have been crucial to much of the success Scott has found early on.
"These guys have been playing together since middle school as a unit," says the coach. "When you have nine, ten guys who have been playing together for the last three or four years, their chemistry seems to take over, especially when they start to get a little bit winded. They know where each other is going to be. They're able to connect pass after pass. It's great to watch."
Boyd anticipates improvement in the way the Skyhawks attack the back line, switch the ball when needed, and incorporate the entire team in the attack, including the GK. Boyd says, "We have the option to drop back to [Howard]. He has great feet for a keeper. We've got to be willing to use every single person on the field, and not get stuck in the habit of only going down one side"
Scott (6-1) play Sissonville (5-1-2) away on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. Point Pleasant (3-3-2) plays Teays Valley Christian (4-3) at home the same day at 5:30 p.m.