Special to the MDN – Swain High Men’s Soccer Team hosted the Asheville Trailblazers on Thursday night. Just four and a half minutes into the game the Devils would have a hand ball in the box giving the Trailblazers a Penalty Kick. Junior Goalkeeper Cameron Phillips would block the shot, but the Trailblazers would follow the shot with a goal. Just 15 seconds later the Devils would answer when Junior Landon Matz would find Junior Matthew Gray with a through pass for a goal tying the game 1-1. Five minutes later the Trailblazers would add another goal off a Corner Kick going up 2-1. For the next 13 minutes neither team would score a goal. With 17 minutes left in the first half Matz would steal the ball from a Trailblazer defender and score a goal making the score 2-2. With 6 minutes left in the half Gray would find Matz for another goal. 30 seconds later Matz would find Gray for a goal. One minute later Matz would get a hat trick with an unassisted goal putting the Devils up 5-2 at the end of the first half.
Six minutes into the second half Sophomore Owen Craig would get the ball to Gray for a score giving Gray a hat trick for the night. With 22 minutes left in the second half Senior Adam Cotterman would score his first goal of the season off a pass from Freshman Clayton Shuler. The scoring would be finished off for the night when Craig would score a goal off a long throw in from Gray. “We played a good game overall. It was a rough start in the beginning, but the team rebounded well.” said Head Coach Scott Cline. “We had to adjust our alignment due to missing five players. We had to move some of our midfielders to our defensive back line. Both Canon Helpman and Gavin Lanning stepped up really well filling in as our Center Backs.”
On Defense Junior Canon Helpman lead the way with 14 Clears/Steals, followed by Junior Landon Matz with 9, Senior Gavin Lanning with 5 and Senior Taligwo Walker with 4. In goal Junior Cameron Phillips finished with 11 Saves. The Player of the Game was Junior Matthew Gray. “Matthew really stepped it up in this game.” said Cline. “This was probably the best game I’ve seen him play all season. He was definitely one of our impact players in the game.”