Turman, Taylor dynamic duo help lead Cowboys to 8-1 victory over Wildcats
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With the final score of 8-1 ending with another victory for the Coppell boys soccer team, it was surprising to note that the first goal of the match was scored 14 minutes in by the Lake Highlands Wildcats.
Yet, it only took only three minutes for the Cowboys (11-2-1) to answer the Wildcats (6-6-4) with constant service from the flanks, an aggressive style of play and quick switching to change the angle of attack.
“I thought that there were a lot of good things, offensively, we played very well tonight in comparison to the past,” Coppell coach Chad Rakestraw said. “Some of the remnants of our issues this year of allowing easy goals also came up but most of all, I am proud of the response we had to that.”
Despite the absence of junior forward Wyatt Priest because of an injury, a key offensive player and leading goal scorer, the Cowboys did not show signs of struggle even with the rocky start.
Coppell junior forward Jake Turman had his first start of the season, displaying his ability to dominate the right flank. The chemistry between senior forward Nick Taylor and Turman yielded two back to back goals.
“[Turman] put himself in a lot of really good opportunities, was good on the ball, made a lot of good decisions so it was very encouraging,” Rakestraw said.
With the outside midfielders and forwards aptly beating defenders, the offense, headed by Taylor was always eager to collect and finish the ball.
“I thought we were slow in the beginning but we came out and scored eight goals pretty quickly, stayed strong and consistent the whole entire game and it was a good result,” Taylor said.
Throughout the match, the Cowboys dominated the possession of the ball paired with successful distribution by the midfield with thru balls, combination play and quick transitions, causing the Wildcats to struggle to keep up.
Paired with the consistency of the defense, led by senior central defender Alex Haas, the Wildcats subsequently penetrated the back line only a few times.
“The last game we played against Jesuit was a little rough, I think we played much better today,” Coppell junior defender Byron Peng said. “[There was] overall an improvement from the beginning of the season, it has been a pretty good progression and I’m happy with the team’s performance.”
By the end of the half, a healthy lead of 3-1 was established for the Cowboys with two goals by Taylor.
Starting CHS central midfielder senior Bishesh Manandhar was an essential link in distributing the ball, a role filled by junior Amit Verma towards the end of the first half.
The Cowboys did not let down in the second half with three goals being scored in the matter of ten minutes, extending their lead to 7-1.
“I look forward to bonding with the team more, just creating a relationship with the players, winning more games, scoring more goals, trying to be successful in the playoffs and hopefully win another state championship,” Taylor said.
The final goal of the night was put in by senior defender Hass who easily finished a penalty kick in the box ending the game with a score of 8-1.
“I’m looking forward to us playing tougher and working harder than every single team those have not been characteristics of us yet this year but we are going to make that something we are defined by,” Rakestraw said.