For The Independent
Boyd County’s physical play proved to be too much for visiting Cabell Midland during an early morning soccer matchup on Saturday.
The Lions dominated defensively as they beat the Knights 2-0 on an unseasonably warm and muggy day at the Boyd County Soccer Complex.
Lions coach William Ferguson knows that style of play is the key to his team’s success.
“We like a physical game,” said Ferguson. “We do well with those. I thought we played a full 80 minutes, something we really need to be doing this time of year.”
Boyd County (5-5-2) applied constant pressure on the Knights’ attackers, limiting their scoring opportunities. Cabell Midland (5-6-3) had just seven shots for the game.
“We didn’t let them get past us too much,” said Ferguson. “We knew they were a tough team, especially in the middle.
“We had to make some adjustments and change things up,” he added. “Our kids adapted to it well and we kept a clean sheet the whole game.”
When the Knights were able to break through, the steady hands of keeper Wyatt Lewis kept the shutout intact. The junior had five saves.
Said Ferguson of Lewis: “Anytime he was tested, he answered the call.”
As the humidity rose, so did the tension late in the game. The Lions’ tough play started to frustrate the Knights and led to a yellow card being issued to a Midland midfielder.
Ferguson was proud of the way his team reacted.
“It was a very tense game,” said Ferguson. “Our guys did well keeping their heads in the game and played at the level we need to.”
Jonah Black got Boyd County on scoreboard first in the 18th minute. He found the back of the net after receiving a pass off the head of Jordan Smith.
With the game still in doubt, Black’s free kick found Isaac Puzey in stride deep in the box and the junior midfielder slipped the ball past the keeper for the Lions’ second goal at the 70-minute mark.
Boyd County is finishing its season with a tough stretch of games. Ferguson hopes it will prepare his team for postseason play.
“We wanted to make sure the end of the season would keep us on our toes so we can be ready for our district game with Russell,” said Ferguson.
The Lions close out the season with a home game against Spring Valley, another top team in West Virginia, and a tough road test with Montgomery County.