By R. Alan Richardson
Morgan’s soccer teams opened up their 2017 season hosting Putnam last Friday. The outcome was just what the doctor ordered with both squads taking wins against the non-region foe. The girls overwhelmed Putnam on both ends of the field with a 10-0 victory. Annie Akins score five goals, freshman Brooke Morrison added three to the total, and Cat Usry topped the scoring off with two scores of her own.
Coach Anne Stamps talked about the team effort overall saying, “I was very pleased with our ability to finish Friday night. Our midfield did a fantastic job of winning 50/50 balls and passing up through balls to our Strikers.” Defense led to offense in this one with seniors Elizabeth Stephens and Morgan Money keeping Putnam on their end of the field the majority of the night. Stamps again commented, “Our defense did a great job shutting down the Putnam offense. Our defense is led by four-year starting seniors, Elizabeth Stephens and Morgan Money. Those two girls did a great job holding down our backfield along with a few talented defensive freshmen on the outsides.”
During the first half Morgan attempted 23 shots on goal and did not allow a real challenge by Putnam but once. It was a weak threat that was quickly thwarted by goal keeper Ansley Dean. The halftime score was 8-0 and all players got some valuable playing time.
Stamps gave her thoughts with these comments, “I am happy with the progress we have made as a team in the preseason. We lost a strong senior class last season and the girls we have now have showed that they are ready to fill those shoes. Our freshmen class as a whole is as good as we have ever had and will be a fun class to watch over the next four years. We need to continue to grow as a unit this season. We have two new transfers moving into Morgan County from North Carolina and quite a few young players that we will be heavily relying on, so with that new team make up, needs to come new team chemistry.”
The boys’ team won 2-0 against Putnam County on Friday night for their first match of the season, after the game scheduled against Buford earlier in the week was rained out. The 2-0 win was highlighted by returners Andrew Watkins and Nick Seymour. Watkins drew first blood for the Bulldogs in the first half and Seymour capped that off with a score of his own in the second period of play.
Coach Aaron Paul said, “The team played extremely well for the entire game. We were aggressive from the start and played very well all night. Nick Seymour, a junior, and Harrison Yost, a senior, are both captains for this year’s varsity squad. Both JV and Varsity squads are packed with new and returning talent. The players have set goals and have high expectations for both teams. I am looking forward to seeing how both teams progress and develop for the rest of the season. Sophomore Collin Sitzmann played extremely well at goal keeper for the entire game. He made quite a few extremely important saves, was always at the ball when needed, and commanded the defense during free kicks and corner kicks with confidence.”
Next up for the Morgan Soccer Dogs will be away matches at Walnut Grove and Hart County. Both events will start at 5:30 for the girls followed by boys play.