Cougars on seven game win streak after 4-2 win over Open Bible

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Grace Christian Academy Cougars soccer team extended its win streak to seven with a 3-0 victory over the Peachtree Panthers on the road in Covington last week and a 4-2 road win over Open Bible on Monday.

Against Peachtree, Grace scored in the 18th minute when sophomore Jack Holden scored his fourth goal of the season on a breakaway play where he muscled a shot through the Peachtree Goalie’s hands.

In the 29th minute of play, senior defender Sam McRae pushed forward from the back half with the ball and sent a pass to senior forward Gavyn Albritton, who blasted a shot from 25 yards out to give Grace a 2-0 lead at the half.

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With Grace getting several opportunities to score in the second half, they finally connected in the 72nd minute when Junior Defender Jeb Smith, who was playing at the right forward position, had a break away with one Peachtree defender to beat. As Smith was closing in to the defender, he played a perfect cross over to Jack Holden, who was trailing the play at the center forward position and easily scored his second goal of the game to give GCA a 3-0 lead.

Grace outshot the Panthers 14-4 with several missed opportunities by Wyatt Carpenter, Spence Butler, Daniel Jones, Sam McRae and Jeb Smith.

“Gavyn and Jeb who had one on one opportunities with the goalie are going to want those chances back” Coach Albritton said.

The Cougars defense continues to show why they lead the GICAA Conference with fewest number of goals allowed in the state by delivering their fourth shutout of the season. Sam McRae, Corban Walsingham, Collin Woodrum and Jeb Smith are quickly making a name for themselves as one of the best defensive units in the state.

Goalie DeAndre Rogers was back in the goal and had another solid performance with four saves. Other key contributions were made by Blake Rykard, Jackson McConnell, Shane Kornmeier and Chasen Wood.

“Wood took a physical beating out there today but refused to come out of the match until I forced him to sit after a head to head collision during a scramble for the ball,” Albritton said. “He is one tough competitor and shores up a solid performance by our Midfielders.”

Grace will be on the road Monday against Open Bible Christian Academy in Valdosta and then will host Peachtree Christian Academy on Saturday, September 23. The Saturday match against Peachtree is an important game for two reasons. First, if the Cougars are victorious they will win the South Region of the GICAA Conference and host a state playoff game in October, and second, GCA will be honoring their seniors.

Monday, The Cougars got on the board early in this match when Senior Defender Sam McRae burst through the heart of the Warriors defense from midfield to bury the ball in the net in the 3rd minute of the match. Senior Forward Gavyn Albritton would score in the 20th minute of play on a break away to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Cougars. Later in the 40th minute Senior Defender Corban Walsingham crossed the ball in from the right side of the box to a streaking Albritton who headed the ball into the net from the top of the goalie box to make the score 3-0 at the half.

At half time we decided to take out our starting defense and also play 10 men on the field, going without a defensive sweeper. The Cougars have played the Warriors twice already this season with shutout wins in both matches. “I don’t believe you learn anything from running up the score” coach Albritton said. So with the starters out the Warriors were able to score 2 goals in the span of 4 minutes, with one of the goals coming as a result of a penalty shot. “They were playing in front of their home crowd and those scores got the crowd and the Warriors fired up” replied coach Albritton. With the score 3-2 the starting defensive was back on the field and the Cougars controlled the game throughout the rest of the match. In the 54th minute Freshman Forward Daniel Jones stormed down the left side and turned toward the goal scoring a beautiful goal that squeezed in between the post and the goalkeeper. Jones had many opportunities to score in this match and refused to be denied on this particular play.

Gavyn Albritton leads all scorers with 10 goals on the season. The Cougars run of shutout wins ends at 3 matches. The Cougars out shot the Warriors 26-3. The Cougars next play this Saturday, September 23rd at 1pm at home.