The Swain High Men’s Soccer team hosted the Andrews Wildcats on Wednesday night at Swain Memorial Stadium. It would be the first time since the Fall of 2017 that Andrews has fielded a soccer team. It would be a night where eight different Maroon Devils would find the back of the net, with six of them scoring goals for the first time this season.
Just 5 minutes into the game sophomore Clayton Shuler would find junior Owen Craig for the first goal of the game. Two minutes later Shuler would find senior Gavin Rowland putting the Devils up 2-0. Ten minutes into the game Sophomore Brendan Lanning would find Craig with a pass and Craig would dribble in for the goal. Halfway through the first half Craig would get his first hat trick of the season when Gavin Rowland would find him with a pass. With 6 minutes left in the half, senior Matthew Gray would take a throw finding senior Spencer Rowland for a goal. With one minute left in the half, Gray would find senior Cameron Phillips who would convert the pass into a goal. The Maroon Devils would end the half with the 6-0 lead.
Fifteen seconds into the second half, Gray and senior Canon Helpman would work together passing down the field with Helpman scoring the goal. Two minutes later Gray would find Lanning putting the Devils up 8-0. Seven minutes into the half, the Devils would attempt to clear the ball, kicking it into a Wildcat striker and it bounced back into the goal. 30 seconds later the Wildcats would add their second goal of the night. With 25 minutes left in the half the Devils would get back to scoring as Craig would find Gray for a goal. 30 seconds later sophomore Mason Devine would find Craig for his fourth goal of the game. Two minutes later the mercy rule would be obtained by the Maroon Devils as Gray would find Devine with a pass and Devine would add a goal finishing the game at 11-2. It would be Gray’s fifth assist of the game. “We played a good game overall. Andrews has some talent on their team and we need to be prepared the next time we play them for sure,” said Head Coach Scott Cline. “We had a lot of players that stepped it up in many different areas of the field. Many of them were playing in different positions than they were used to.”
On the Defensive side sophomore Max Wilmot and sophomore Brendan Lanning led the way with 5 clears each. They were followed by senior Canon Helpman with 4, and junior Owen Craig and sophomore McClane Whorton each with 2. In goal senior Cameron Phillips recorded 4 goalkeeper saves and freshman Matt Evans recorded one goalkeeper save. The Player of the Game for the Devils was junior Owen Craig. “Owen is a very dynamic player that has really improved his level of play. He not only excelled on the offensive side, but he did really well when I put him back on defense also.” said Cline. The Maroon Devils next game is on Thursday when they travel to Blue Ridge for a makeup game that was supposed to be played on Monday. On Monday they will host the Hayesville Yellow Jackets at 6:00 and then travel to Cherokee on Wednesday for a 5:30 game.