The Southwestern Warriors soccer team shut out the Wayne County Cardinals 4-0 to take a 48th District trophy last night at Southwestern.
The Cardinals were on fire with a nine-game win streak heading into the district championship matchup but Southwestern aimed to spoil that streak and get another district win.
The Warriors started off very aggressive as they controlled the ball early and kept it in Wayne territory. This kept Cardinal goalkeeper Brandon McGinnis very busy and he saved six goals in just the first half of the opening period.
With around fifteen minutes left in the first period, seniors Chase Eastham and Dylan Stevens took back to back attempts, but McGinnis made an athletic save on both balls. Following a diving deflection, the ball landed right in front of Stevens to give him a second chance which he happily took and sent to the back of the net to put the Warriors up 1-0.
After the goal by Southwestern, Warrior goalkeeper Caleb Seward saved three shots in a four-minute period to keep the Cardinals off the scoreboard.
With around six minutes left until the halftime break, junior Carson Albright was able to get open and take a hard attempt. McGinnis laid out to stop it in its tracks but fell just short and Albright's goal put the Warriors up 2-0 heading into halftime.
"I was very pleased with the first half," said Southwestern head coach Sean McBride. "I thought during the first half we played controlled offensively."
After the break, the Warriors did not get as many scoring opportunities as they did in the first half, but they still put pressure on the Cardinals and had multiple solid attempts. Most of the attempts were either just barely off the mark, or they were saved by McGinnis.
Seward also came up with several athletic saved to keep Wayne County scoreless and help his Warriors stay on top and in control.
With just about four minutes left, Albright took the ball around a pair of Cardinal defenders off his own throw-in and booted it all the way to the top right corner of the net for his second goal of the night.
Just three minutes later, Hayden Shadoan drove the ball down the middle of the field and flipped it to Eastham who smashed it in to seal the 4-0 victory.
"In the second half, Wayne County did a good job at winning the ball out of the air," said coach McBride. "It kind of created chaos and kept us from being able to possess the ball as well as we did in the first half. Really for the first twenty minutes of the second half my guys were just kind of booting the ball around whenever we had the chance and that's not how I want to play. Defensively, I thought we were solid. There were a few mistakes defensively that we have to get better at if we want to make a run next week. As far as offense goes, the last twenty minutes of the game I thought we got a lot more under control and we started playing the ball on the ground more. We were able to put a couple in late on them, so it worked out in the end."
"Wayne County did really good," said coach McBride. "They have a good team and they fought until the end. They've had a good season and I think next week they're plenty capable of beating whoever they play just because of how hard they play."
The 48th District Championship win is the eighth straight for the Southwestern Warriors and they look to repeat their 12th Region Championship victory from a season ago.
Southwestern players named to the 48th District All-Tournament Team were, sophomore Hayden Shadoan, junior John Noyola, junior Keagan McDaniel, junior Carson Albright, and senior Chase Eastham.