The Swain High Men’s Soccer team hosted Hayesville on Monday night in Smoky Mountain Conference action. The Maroon Devils were coming off a conference loss the previous Thursday to Blue Ridge. The game would start off with a lot of defense as it would take 37 minutes for either team to score. Sophomore Brendan Lanning would find Senior Matthew Gray with a ball over the Yellow Jackets defensive line giving the Maroon Devils the 1-0 lead. The first half would end with the Maroon Devils up 1-0.
Just three minutes into the second half Gray would dribble past most of the Yellow Jacket defense including the goalkeeper. The last defender would block Gray’s shot with his hand just before it would enter the goal. The Maroon Devils would be awarded a penalty kick that Gray would convert into a goal. Twelve minutes into the second half, Sophomore Clayton Shuler would send a through ball through the Yellow Jacket defense finding Gray for his 3rd goal of the night giving him a hat trick. With six minutes left in the second half, Gray would take a corner kick that Lanning would finish with a header. “We played a good game. We were missing 2 of our top 3 scorers plus some other key players. We had many other players step up their game making major contributions.” said Head Coach Scott Cline.
On the Defensive side Sophomore Max Wilmot led the team with 13 Clears/Steals. He was followed by Senior Canon Helpman with 12, Sophomore Brendan Lanning with 8, Senior Spencer Rowland with 6 and Sophomore James Sanchez with 5. . In goal Senior Cameron Phillips recorded 9 goalkeeper saves. The Player of the Game for the Devils was Sophomore Clayton Shuler. “Clayton really stepped up his play in the game and was not afraid of taking contact in the middle of the field. He really increased his intensity in the game,” said Cline. The Maroon Devils move to 3-1 in the conference. They travel to Cherokee on Wednesday for a 5:30 game and then on Monday they will host Highlands for Youth Night at 6:00.