East Carter boys’ soccer took down their rivals at West Carter Monday, Aug. 27, 5-1.
The Raiders’ scoring power came from sophomore Ethan Miller who netted four goals against the Comets.
“My team did a good job of setting me up throughout the night and I just put them away at the end of it,” said Miller.
The first goal for the Raiders was by Logan Cales in the third minute, but the goal was retracted for Cales being off sides. A similar situation occurred later in the first half with Cales again being called offsides.
“I am never going to say anything against the officials. I saw what I saw, and they saw what they saw,” said East Coach Chris Huddle.
Miller scored the first official goal in the 18th minute and his second assisted by Hunter McMillen’s direct free kick in the 38th minute.
McMillen’s free kick might have been heading for goal, but Miller crossed paths with it to assure that it fell out of reach of West Carter’s keeper, Hunter Sammons.
Sammons was stepping in for Jody Ingles who got suspend for two games in the Menifee County game Saturday.
“Hunter is a lanky, athletic kid who gives it his all every time he goes out on the field. He ended up coming out with a win for us in PK shootouts during the All A. We are happy with his play right now and hope he keeps that effort up,” said West Coach Chris Shelton.
The Raiders went into the second half leading by two, not the commanding start that Huddle was hoping for.
“We knew it was going to be tough. It always is. It’s a rivalry game, a smaller field and West Carter is very aggressive defensively. On a small field it’s a double bad for us. We settled down some after the first 10 minutes and played well,” said Huddle.
The Raiders added a little more finesse to their game in the second half.
“We started playing a little more of our game. At half time, we made a little adjustment. We were noticing when the ball went to the other side of the field that West Carter was flooding that side of the field and leaving the other side wide open,” said Huddle.
“I told them at half time we need to switch the ball, get it to the other side and really make the defense go back and forth. Eventually, if you make the defense move back and forth enough the defense is going to miss an assignment,” said Huddle.
Shelton admitted that the change shook things up for West Carter.
“They move the ball extremely well and that is just an East Carter program. It’s a matter of stepping in the passing lanes and being where you are supposed to be all the time. That is tough to do,” said Shelton.
Chase Burton scored in the 58th minute with a header off a corner kick from McDowell. That makes his third goal of that particular fashion this season. He scored one in the season opener against Ashland and his second against Dixie Heights.
“Chase is usually my target because he can get up there,” said McDowell.
McDowell’s corner kick has become quite the weapon for East’s offense. He had three assists, all in the second half, and two off them corner kicks.
McDowell and Miller paired up for the last two goals to close the evening.
“We’re very spoiled having them both up top,” said Huddle.
McDowell, who was leading the team in goals prior to the West Carter game, was happy to give up the spotlight to Miller.
“Either way, we still got the win. It still feels good,” said McDowell.
McDowell hit Miller with a strong cross from the left corner in the 62nd minute for the first. The second, another corner kick that found its way past Sammons in the 73rd minute.
West Carter snuck one past Trevor Cline in the 66th minute. In nontraditional West Carter style, Josh Hicks scored on a pass from Trace Moore.
“We talked about that at half time. They are expecting that (a goal to be scored on the breakaway) from us and teams know that now. So, how are we going to change and what are we going to differently. That is what I challenged them to do at half time,” said Shelton. “We are hoping to see some more of that and get some more players involved other than Josh and Trace.”
Moore’s goal is only the second goal Cline has given up in six games. On top of Cline’s strength in the net, the Raiders’ defense has done an excellent job of making sure other teams are not getting quality opportunities.
Cline picked up his fourth shutout in a district win, 9-0, over Morgan County Wednesday night. McDowell scored four goals, Miller added two, and Cales, Burton and Seth Walker tallied one apiece.
West Carter went on to finish the week beating Bath County in the All “A” tournament, 5-2.