The result could have been completely different, with different jerseys smiling and different numerals lighting up the scoreboard. But thanks to a gutsy performance from the Western Hills High School’s senior goalkeeper, Will Davis, the result remained in the Wolverines’ favor.
Blocking three dangerous shots in the second half, Davis helped the Wolverines (2-0) defeat Madison Central 3-0 Thursday night at Sower Soccer Field at Capitol View Park. The game was called with a minute left because of lightning.
“Will had some huge saves,” WHHS head coach Daniel Cowan said. “He had a great game tonight, especially with eight minutes left — there was a rocket that he just tipped over the net. They get a goal there and it is a completely different result.”
Also assisting Davis in protecting the goal was senior Tanner Blackburn, who stepped in front of the net with 17 minutes remaining and blocked a potential score.
Cowan also credited his offense for striking early with a score in the back of the net by junior Elma Nfor.
“It was huge,” Cowan said. “The first 10 minutes of every game is crucial and getting an early goal like that set the tone for the rest of the game.”
With 21:25 left in the first half, senior Tyler Smith added the Wolverines’ second goal to increase their lead to 2-0.
Five minutes into the second half, Adam Goss skated past defenders and when the Indians’ goalkeeper stepped out, the senior connected the ball with the back of the net.
Madison Central made multiple attempts to score, but was unsuccessful.
Junior Austin Tucker played an important role in that, according to his head coach.
“He just showed up when we needed him to,” Cowan said. “He was just all over the place.”
With the win Thursday, Cowan said he could feel a strong season coming for his Wolverines.
“We’re very happy with this win tonight,” he said. “The boys came out and played like they were the better team and got the results they deserved.
“The guys have worked really hard. They have done everything I’ve asked them to do. I think the potential is there for a great season.”
WHHS will now look ahead to its next game against Mercer County on Saturday at 8 p.m.
“Oh we’re ready,” Cowan said. “We can’t wait. They’re a top 25 team and it is going to be a tough game, but we like playing the tough ones.”
In Thursday’s JV match, Western Hills won 5-0.