The Teays Valley Christian Lions lost a hard 6-2 battle to Wood County at home.

This week’s boy’s High School soccer game features the Wildcats of Wood County Christian Schools’ visit to Teays Valley Christian School. I covered this same game last year and remember saying then that Wood County were known for their “robust” style of play. Judging from last night’s game, little has changed. It not only featured eight goals, we also saw two shots rebound from the woodwork, three penalty kicks and four yellow cards.

Teays Valley kicked off but, after an initial scramble in midfield, Wood County took control of the ball with Michael Cline showing a remarkable turn of speed as he raced down the left wing. That attack came to nothing but, in the second minute, Cline again won the ball and passed to No. 33, Tucker Daugherty, whose long-range shot beat the Lions keeper to put the visitors one up.

The early goal seemed to wake Teays Valley up. The Wildcats continued to press, but Triston Yoak made two tremendous clearances for the TVCS defense and Cole Young was working hard to win the ball in midfield. Their efforts nearly paid dividends in the sixth minute when Young took a throw in, sent the ball to Grant Goad who saw his close-range header turned over the bar for a corner by the keeper’s fingertips.

A second throw four minutes later saw the ball fall to Micah Gillespie who managed to send it well over the bar from inside the penalty area. Wood County were still pressing, however, and Michael Cline’s determination, ball skills and speed were causing the Lions’ defense a lot of problems.

In the 12th minute, he got the ball in midfield, broke down the left flank and ran at the goal only to see the ball go out off a defender. Taking the throw himself, Cline sent the ball into the center, where Tucker Daugherty was waiting to nod it into the left side of the net. Two-nil to the Wildcats.The visitors followed this up with two corners in quick succession before Teays Valley managed to counter-attack and win a throw on the left. Grant Goad took the throw, sent the ball to Cole Young who spun, avoided a tackle, and shot the ball low and hard into the net to get one back for the home side.

For the next 10 minutes, most of the play was in the middle third of the field with the Lions making the occasional break forward. Micah Gillespie tried an overhead kick from a throw, but his aim was off and the ball went wide.

In the 28th minute, the Wood County keeper took a goal kick, the ball bounced in the Lions’ half and several players touched it before it went to Tucker Daugherty, who fired in a low shot from the edge of the area to beat the keeper and make the score three-one to the visitors.

The play became end to end for a few minutes with both sides making attempts on goal but then, as the half was coming to a close, Cole Young took the attack into the left side of the Wildcats’ penalty area only to be pushed off the ball by a defender. The referee saw the infringement and awarded a penalty kick to TVCS. Young took the kick himself and sent the keeper the wrong way to make the score at the end of the half 2-3.

The second half began with Wood County kicking off and Teays Valley applying the early pressure. Andrew Breeding had a shot saved and Micah Gillespie fired wide before, in the 10th minute, he tussled for the ball in midfield, won it and sent a long shot into the net. Unfortunately, the ref decided he’d won the ball unfairly, disallowed the goal and gave a free kick to the visitors.

Two minutes later the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick of their own after a Lions’ player pushed an opponent in the area. Michael Cline made no mistake with the kick to bring the score to 4-2 to the visitors.

In the 15th minute, Triston Yoak chased a ball to the left touch line. It went out for a throw, but Tucker Daugherty made a very late tackle that took Yoak’s feet away. The Teays Valley player got up and used two hands to push the offender away, actions that earned both players a yellow card.

Wood County were now putting more pressure on and, halfway through the second period, TVCS took a throw in their own half but the ref adjudged it to have been a foul throw and awarded it to the other side. It was taken quickly and Michael Cline turned and shot to score the Wildcats’ fifth goal.

Just a minute later, Wood County’s No. 4 ran into the area and was tackled by Triston Yoak. Yoak appeared to have won the ball cleanly but the ref decided he hadn’t and pointed to the spot. Cline took the kick and scored but the ref saw that there had been encroachment into the area by the attacking team and the kick had to be retaken. This time there was no mistake, the ball beat the keeper to make the score 2-6 to Wood County.

That was the end of the scoring but 10 minutes before the end the visitor’s No. 11 earned a yellow card for a foul on Teay’s Valley’s Andrew Breeding.

Despite trailing by four goals the home team kept trying and they enjoyed a late flurry with Cole Young and Andrew Breeding both hitting the post and Young seeing another attempt tipped over for a corner.

The final score was 6-2 to Wood County. The outstanding player for the visitors was Michael Cline, whose speed and ball control tormented the home defense throughout the game. For Teays Valley once again Cole Young, Triston Yoak, and Micah Gillespie stood out.

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