MADISON – After their 10-0 rout of Shady Spring days prior, Scott High School’s Class AA No. 1 ranked boys’ soccer (3-0-1) played No. 2 ranked defending AA-A State Champions Fairmont Senior (4-0) at home on Saturday, marking a major test for the much-anticipated 2020 Skyhawks team.
The first goal of the match was scored in the first half at 25:25 by junior Wade Setser, who took one touch after receiving the ball front and center from senior Carson Asbury on the left side. His touch knocked the ball into Fairmont Senior’s net, putting Scott High School up 1-0.
At 16:51, sophomore Isaac Setser fed the ball to the middle, where senior Ian Gillispie made an excellent first touch and a turning shot, which took the Fairmont defense by surprise and extended the Skyhawks’ lead to 2-0. The score remained at the half.
Just over four minutes into the second half, Scott once again took advantage of the left side and attacked up the field. Asbury crossed the ball to senior Luke Older, who took a header and converted to make it 3-0. A second header goal was assisted by senior Harrison Parsons and scored by Wade Setser for a brace.
Unfortunately for Scott, they would not clinch the clean sheet for the match with Fairmont. With 9:52 left, a Scott foul inside the box led to a penalty kick taken by Polar Bears junior Bubby Towns. He got the ball just past senior goalkeeper Greg Howard to put the away squad on the board 4-1, which became the final score. Though the shutout was denied, the Black-and-Gold enjoyed the honor of giving the 2019 state champs their first loss of the 2020 season.
Scott’s head coach Zach Boyd said that it was exciting to have a matchup with a team like Fairmont Senior early in the regular season, which was a first for the Scott High program. Beating the Polar Bears, in his words, was “fantastic”.
“Looking at the game and the way it was played, that is the best I have seen our boys play in [the seniors’] four years,” says Boyd. “We jumped out on [Fairmont Senior], and I really don’t think they were expecting it. We didn’t back down.” Preparation, control of the game’s rhythm, and the energy generated by the first goal contributed to what was a memorable victory in the history of Skyhawks soccer. Boyd added that the team has improved with each game, and that the way they stepped up against Fairmont’s attack was excellent.
Aside from the bittersweet feeling of missing out on the clean sheet, Boone County’s orange status on West Virginia’s color-coded system for school re-entry left a sour taste afterward. The team was stuck with only being able to hold conditioning and would possibly be eligible to play in games on Sept. 21. After being set to gold following Gov. Jim Justice’s change to the color system, Scott returns to practice Wednesday Sept. 16.
The victory on Saturday, according to Coach Boyd, is only one step toward an end goal in the grand scheme of things. “Our work’s not done,” says Boyd.
“That’s one of the things we have to focus on as a team and that I’m focusing on as a coach," he said. "I can’t let the win over Fairmont on Sept. 12 be our home run. The way we have put it to the boys is that it’s just like climbing a ladder.”
The win is another rung, and there is a long way to go before sectionals. After all the excitement, Scott is preparing for the road ahead and putting in the time to improve what needs to be improved, all for their ultimate goal: the state finals in Beckley on Nov. 8. As Boyd says it, “We expect to be there that Saturday morning, and at the end of that game, after eighty minutes is up, we expect to be the team that is holding that state championship trophy.”