Wildcat Soccer beats the hump out of the Camels

  • Tanner Keeton
    Tanner Keeton

The Pendleton County High School Wildcat soccer team played two defensive games last week and scored enough goals to earn them a road victory and a tie at home.
    The Wildcats started the season off last Monday, September 7, in a road match against Campbell County.
    Both teams had opportunities to score in the first half that ended up being mostly scoreless, but the Camels did score a goal around the 36 minute mark in the first half and led 1-0 at halftime.
    The Wildcats regrouped in the second half, and senior Ty Caudill found the net one minute into the second half to tie the game at one apiece.
    “You got that momentum with that goal by Caudill really early in the second half,” PC head coach Brian Adams said. “The game totally changed in the second half. We made a couple of changes at halftime to the midfield to try to help us retain possession of the ball and transition through the thirds of the field.”
    Adams continued, “Obviously an early goal helps when you’re chasing the game a bit, but I think it was almost inevitable with how we playing in the second that the goals were going to come.”
    Senior Noah Barnard would also score in the second half for the Wildcats off an assist by Caudill, and Pendleton County’s defense and goalie Connor Farwell kept the Camels off the board. The Wildcats held on to win their opener 2-1.
    “Connor was Connor. That is the best way I can word it,” Coach Adams explained. “He made 12 saves in the first half to keep us in the match. Our midfield and defense helped him out in the second half, and we held Campbell County to three  shots.”
    Farwell ended up with 15 saves at goalie to help lead the victory for PC. Coach Adams said, “when you have a goalkeeper as capable as Connor behind you, it gives you a sense of security that you can take a few more risks when you’re in possession knowing that if the opposition does win the ball and counter, we have a goalkeeper that is going to be difficult for them to beat.”
    Winning the first regular season game of the year is good for the Wildcats, especially with the pandemic going on and only having a four-to-five week season to play around 12-16 games.
    “This season is going to be a sprint,” Coach Adams said. “I think just being on the field was a huge boost in confidence and energy for the players and adding the win on top of that only gives us that much more momentum.”
    He said that he expects a good season from his team this year, especially being a veteran teams packed with a lot of seniors.
    “It’s my second year with the guys, so we’re getting to know how each other works a little more every day,” he said. “Along with those veterans, we have a few younger guys who have really stepped up.”
    Some of those players he mentioned were Randall Crozier, who had the best game he has seen play, and Chase Nichols was given an opportunity and took it with both hands.
    “If we can all stay on the same page with our work rate, communication, and concentration, a trophy isn’t just possible; it is expected,” Coach Adams said.
    The Wildcats finished out the week with their first home match of the season on Thursday, September 10. Farwell had another strong night with 31 saves at goalie, and Caudill scored a second half goal as the Wildcats played to a 1-1 tie against Calvary Christian.
    “Again, it was a game that changed at halftime. I don’t think any of my players would argue with you that Calvary was the better team in the first half,” Coach Adams explained. “We made a small formation change at halftime and my guys kept their heads up and competed in the second and the game changed a bit.”
    Coach Adams went on to say that he didn’t think his team controlled the game in the second, but it was a much more evenly matched half. They scored a goal to tie the game and had a couple more chancesto steal the win.
    Farwell again had a strong outing at goalie with his 31 saves and proved to be the difference in the match. He also came up with a big save on a penalty that helped the Wildcats get the tie.
    “Overall, we had a good first week,” Coach Adams said. “We were able to play two matches, went unbeaten, and got a few younger players some varsity experience. Now players need to focus on recovery for their bodies, because this season, the games are going to come fast and frequent.”
    This week, the Wildcats will play host to Walton-Verona on Tuesday at 7:30pm. They will play on the road against Bishop Brossart on Thursday at 7:30pm, and PC will end the week hosting on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
    Coach Adams wants to thank all the local school administration and health department workers for the hard work they have done over the past  months to make a season possible.
    “We know that it has been frustrating and challenging, but they have the best interest of the student athletes in mind when designing the protocols and processes for competition in all fall sports here in Pendleton County,” Coach Adams said.