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BOYS SOCCER: ‘Greddy’ Ogden lifts Cougars

Courtland’s sideline erupted when it saw the scoring opportunity develop.

King George’s defense left a wide-open lane for Cougars junior midfielder Zach Ogden, who was standing 20 yards from the goal.

“We were all saying, ‘C’mon hit it, hit it, hit it,’” Courtland boys soccer coach Kevin Berry said.

Ogden didn’t need any urging.

He ripped a left-footed shot from the left side of the box that flew past the Foxes’ diving goalkeeper.

The goal, which came in the 56th minute, provided the difference in a 2–1 road victory that keeps the Cougars (5–1–1, 5–0–1) undefeated through six games in Battlefield District play so far this season.

“[Josh Tomaso] headed it and it just bounced, and I was like, ‘Forget about it. I’m going to take a shot. I’m going to be greedy. That’s my ball,’” Ogden said. “I’ve been practicing my shots for days on end at home and it finally worked out.”

Ogden’s goal, which made the score 2–0, seemed to calm the nerves of his teammates.

Berry said the Cougars were slightly off for most of the game, but they settled down after Ogden found the back of the net.

“As soon as we scored that one, everybody relaxed a little bit, calmed down and we started playing and we were able to possess the ball better,” Berry said.

King George, 3–2–1 in district play, found it hard to solve Courtland’s defense.

The Foxes were finally able to string together some late scoring opportunities—including a goal from senior forward Matt Walseman with seven minutes remaining—but the two-goal deficit was too much to overcome.

“We had a lot of good chances at goal, a couple that squirted by there and not by much,” Foxes coach Jeff Butler said. “Our game plan worked well. We played well. They’re the best in the district for a reason.”

The Cougars have allowed only three goals all season and haven’t yielded more than one in a single game.

That didn’t stop Courtland senior goalkeeper Seth Yurgel from reminding his teammates what was at stake when the score was 2–0.

Before Walseman’s goal— his eighth in the last three games—Yurgel screamed for everybody in the stadium to hear, “A two-goal lead is nothing.”

“King George is a good team, and we got lucky that they didn’t finish a lot of their chances tonight,” Yurgel said.

Courtland senior forward Hunter Haynes broke a scoreless tie with a nifty goal right before the half.

Haynes took a pass from Connor Velez and knocked it into the net with the outside of his right foot.

“Finesse over power,” Haynes said.

The Cougars, unbeaten in their last six games, take a five-game winning streak into next Wednesday’s game at Caroline.

“We were so young to start the season, essentially taking a junior varsity team and turning it into a varsity team and saying, ‘Here you go guys, you’ve got to play,’” Berry said. “Every game I see different things out of them. They are starting to develop the right system to play and they’re all getting it a little bit more.”

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442