|Sumner County helps West get first win in THSSCA All-Star game|
|Friday, June 8, 2012|
The West was the best on June 2 at Drakes Creek’s Field of Dreams.
Behind a goal from Gallatin’s Justin Roberts a little over four minutes into the second half, the West All Stars defeated the East All Stars 2-1 in the third annual Tennessee High School Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Game.
It was the first win for the West All Stars in the three meetings. The East team won 4-2 in 2010 and 4-0 in 2011.
“It was a really fun game; I really enjoyed it. It was kind of nice to play with players that you always play against and you come together and play as one,” said Beech’s Caleb Morgan, one of six Sumner County players on the West squad along with Roberts, Station Camp’s Austin Kail, Beech’s Nathan Hansen and Hendersonville’s Kieran McFadden and Ryan Odum.
“I had some previous teammates last year who lost the game by a pretty big amount so I thought we should do our part to represent the West and how we play. It’s a good feeling to get a win against the East.”
Roberts had a part in both goals for the West.
His corner kick with 10:13 remaining in the first half setup the first score. McFadden corralled the kick and sent the ball back toward the goal where Houston’s Robert Scott was waiting. His first attempt was a header that bounced off the right post, and Scott was there to catch his own ricochet and put it back in the net.
The 1-0 lead that took nearly 30 minutes to attain lasted for a little over 14 minutes.
East All Star Caleb Lucas evened the score 4:02 into the second half. The Maryville standout dribbled down the right side, pulled the West goalkeeper toward that side and then sent a shot into the far left part of the net to make it a 1-1 game.
The tie did not last long, however.
Roberts scored 28 seconds later when he converted a one-on-one situation against the East goalkeeper, placing the ball into the right side of the net.
The West held onto the lead for the final 35:30 to pick up its first win in the series in a match that had no lack of physicality from either side.
And Hansen was on the field for nearly all of it. He played the first 36 minutes of the first half and logged plenty of minutes in the second half from his defender position.
“I didn’t think I’d play as much as I did but I was ready,” Hansen said. “I wanted to play tonight. This is probably the last soccer game I’m ever going to play. I love soccer. Basketball’s my favorite sport but I love soccer. I wanted to go out on a high note and finish well.”
Sumner County tied with Shelby County for most participants on the West’s 17-man roster with six apiece. Knox County had nine participants on the East roster.
“I thought it was awesome not only because their high school rivals but their on our club team and I’ve played with them throughout our whole life,” McFadden said. “So it was kind of like our last little hurrah with the guys,”
“I thought we already had our last game on the field and it’s just a privilege to be able to come back out here on an all-star team,” Odum said of playing on his home field one last time. “I just wanted to come out and have fun and win.”
Odum and McFadden will continue their soccer careers playing for Carson-Newman. Hansen will be playing basketball at Lee University. Morgan will attend Tennessee, and has not ruled out college soccer down the road.
— Corby A. Yarbrough, Sports Editor
Photos by Corby A. Yarbrough l THE STANDARD