Bryson City (Special to the MDN) – The Maroon Devils Men’s Soccer Team hosted the Murphy Bulldogs on Wednesday in the conference opener for both teams. Just 14 minutes into the game the Devils would get on the scoreboard first when Senior Zachary Cline would find Sophomore Landon Matz for the goal. Ten minutes later Sophomore Matthew Gray would connect with Matz for his second goal of the night. Two minutes after that Senior Chase Burrell would find Gray for another goal in the first half. Senior Goalkeeper Noel Wolf would go out close to the end of the first half after a collision. Sophomore Cameron Phillips would come into the game in his place. The half would finish with the Devils up 3-0.
Just four minutes into the second half Cline would connect with Matz once again for another goal. Nineteen minutes later Cline would connect with Matz for Matz’s fourth goal of the day and Cline’s third assist. The game would finish with Swain getting the 5-0 shutout. “Overall we played a good game. A few small things here and there to work on, but overall a good conference opener.” said Head Coach Scott Cline. “Our defense really stepped it up well. Numerous times Murphy had scoring opportunities, but they shut it down fairly quickly.”
On defense Junior Levi Trantham led the way with 20 Clears/Steals. He was followed by Junior Lucas Trantham with 18, Senior Chase Burrell with 12, Senior Anthony Reyes with 10, Senior Zachary Cline with 8 and Senior Booth Bassett with 6. In goal Junior Noel Wolf had 4 Saves in his first half appearance and Sophomore Cameron Phillips had 5 in the second half. The Player of the Game for the Devils was Levi Trantham. “Honestly we had many players that could have received this. From our offense, to our defense, all the players played a major role in the win. Levi really stepped it up on the defensive side.” said Cline. “He played a key role as one of our Center Backs in stopping Murphy from scoring a goal.”
The Devils are 1-0 in the conference and 1-1 overall. Next week they continue conference play as they travel to Hayesville on Monday and then on Wednesday they travel to Blue Ridge. Away fans are not allowed to attend either game.