Tyler Hart, Contributor
CIRCLEVILLE — The Circleville Tigers traveled to Logan Elm on Wednesday and returned into city limits with an important conference victory.
Using strong play from their back line and impressive performances in the midfield, the Tigers (4-1-1, 1-1 MSL) handed the Braves a 3-0 shutout loss.
“Any time you play rival Logan Elm, we know they will bring tons of energy. At the half, we had done well in possessing the ball. But we were sloppy at times,” Circleville coach Joe Stitt said. “We had to keep that up and win the 50-50 balls. Winning the goal kicks from either side helped possess the ball much easier and tonight that helped lead to goals.”
The Tigers struck first at the 12:23 mark in the first half, thanks to forward Faith Yancey. The sophomore put a chip shot over Logan Elm keeper Olivia Adams to give Circleville a 1-0 lead.
Adams, for the majority of the first half, battled through adversity as Circleville had good looks on goal prior to going ahead 1-0. But the Braves’ keeper held her own with five saves before the first score.
The rest of the opening half turned into a battle near midfield as the Braves blocked any attack coming their way. Neither team was able to find any offensive rhythm and the score remained 1-0 going into intermission.
However, the second half told a different story.
Circleville scored twice and on both occasions, the name Cockerham had something to do with it.
With 35:20 to go, on a ricochet off the sidebar from a Yancey attempt, freshman forward Makya Cockerham was able to plant her boot on the ball for a 2-0 score. The third and final goal of the match came from a powerful strike by Makya’s older sister, Nilyn. The junior striker found the upper corner of the frame from 25 yards out at the 22:36 mark to produce the night’s final.
“We are trying to pass more instead of relying on our faster players by constantly working on through balls and connecting passes together,” Yancey said. “We are trying to talk more and work together as a team.”
Nearly every time the Braves (1-3, 0-2 MSL) were able to string passes together in Circleville’s territory, the Tigers’ back line sewed any loose seams.
“Our freshman center back Maddux Bigam, along with the other backs, have done a great job keeping the ball moving together, rather than just kicking it away,” Stitt said. “Developing the mindset in possessing the ball as a group is what we continuously work hard on.”
Circleville will be back in action on Saturday, traveling to Sheridan, while Logan Elm attempts to get back on track at Westfall, this coming Wednesday.