The Paper photo by Lori Poteet 
Caleb Whicker had two assists on the day while Dyllan Wirth fought hard on defense.
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Caleb Whicker had two assists on the day while Dyllan Wirth fought hard on defense.

Blue took on red Thursday in the first soccer county match-up of the season. The stakes and energy were high as the rivals faced off. Spatterings of commands flew through the air, “Move!” “Middle!”, “Behind you!” The boys dove into an intense match with C’ville coming out on top 6-1.

The Athenians took off from the get go. Wilfredo Cifuentes rocked one in early to lay the base for the game. Kalidou Diaw had a few nice runs on goal with a bicycle kick mixed in until he followed up with a second goal in the last few minutes of the first half.

C’ville switched to more of a defensive game in the last eight minutes but Diaw turned it around with his goal at 3:30.

Cifuentes struck early in the second half followed by multiple Athenian shots on goal throughout the first 10 minutes.

South started gaining momentum after ten minutes in. Junior Malik Gayler a few yards past the half sent it soaring in what seemed to be an ambitious shot, even to C’ville goalie Joel Raters. The ball rocketed to the top of the goal, nicked the bottom of the rim and bounced in. Momentum shifted.

South’s fire was lit but this was soon extinguished by Diaw’s second goal of the day, quickly followed by a smart shot from Michael Nordenbrock to widen the lead to 5-1.

“Overall the team played very well tonight in terms of playing possession distribution and passing and we can tell that with having assists,” coach Marcus Hale said.

Junior Caleb Whicker had two assists for the day. Cifuentes and Diaw each had two goals with Nordenbrock and Jackson Albrecht with the last two goals of the day.

“This is the first win for the school in terms of the chase for the cup which is very important not only to the team but the school,” Hale added.

C’ville will play Covington on Tuesday and Hale said there is still work to do. “They are really learning and growing each and every day and week. We are building on each and every training session so hopefully by the end of the year we are playing very well when we go into sectionals.”

South fought the entire game with four shots on goal and Gayler’s goal assisted by Camron Mason. Ryan Stanley had 11 saves on the day.

Coach Brandon Rash said possession was their biggest struggle. “Once we got past our half we never possessed the ball. We would get it down into their box and then just lose it.”

With no seniors on the team, Rash said the teamwork has gotten better but they are still focusing on communication.

“We didn’t play bad soccer but the mental game was the bad part.”

South moved to 1-3 while C’ville is at 3-2. South will play Covington on Saturday.