While several other THS sports had to wait to get their seasons underway, the Wildcats soccer team kicked off the new year this week, securing a 3-2 win at Summit on Wednesday, before following that with a 2-2 draw at Nolensville on Thursday.
Caden Throneberry and Chase Farler combined for four of Tullahoma’s five scores during the two games, each netting two goals. Conner Throneberry put up the final score during the week.
Second half scores lead Wildcats to win
At Summit on the first day of their two-day road trip, both teams struggled to get anything going on offense, heading into halftime in a scoreless matchup.
“The first day, it went well,” said THS Head Coach Richie Chadwick. “You could tell that we had, not so much nerves, but we had a slow start and that’s something that we’ve got to do a better job of. It was 0-0 at halftime and then the second half, just went totally different… They were a big team. They had several seniors on the team with some height, so I was pleased going into halftime tied.”
Two minutes into the second half, Matthew Fearing was fouled inside of the box, coming off of a throw-in, resulting in a penalty kick for Tullahoma. Caden took the kick for the Wildcats and made the most of the opportunity, putting his team in front 1-0.
“Caden had a really nice shot,” Chadwick said. “He had great placement, not much hope for the goalkeeper to make a save.”
Two minutes later, Fearing played a ball to Caden, who beat a defender, laying up a pass for Farler, who connected on a header for the score, giving Tullahoma a 2-0 lead early in the second half. According to his head coach, Farler’s header was executed perfectly, with Chadwick calling it “outstanding.”
Eight minutes later, Summit cut into its deficit, scoring off a corner kick, making it a 2-1 contest.
“Like I said, they had some really tall players and that was difficult for us,” Chadwick said. “Thankfully, we didn’t give up a lot of corner kicks.”
With 14 minutes remaining in the second half, Tullahoma put in its final score of the game, taking a 3-1 lead. Off of a corner kick, there was a scramble in the box for the ball, Conner was able to garner brief possession of the ball, knocking it in for the score.
“It was nice,” Chadwick said. “He had all kinds of pressure on him and the goalkeeper was coming at him. He had the perfect placement.”
With two minutes remaining in the contest, Summit netted the final score of the contest, scoring to make it a 3-2 game.
“I think it was a miscommunication,” Chadwick said. “It came from the left side and, you know, that happens early in the season.”
Tullahoma ties with Nolensville
With several key players sitting out with injuries, and other school priorities, Chadwick was forced to make changes to his lineup heading to Nolensville on Thursday. Two freshmen received playing time during the contest, making the most of their opportunities.
Eric Camacho and Trevor Mattasits received an ample amount of playing time on Thursday night. Despite being young and thrown into action, the two freshmen did well according to their head coach.
“Even though I had taken 16 players, the last game, we were pretty much down to one sub, just from injuries that happened,” Chadwick said. “For us to play that well without some key starters in the game, it says a lot.”
One additional adjustment that needed to needed to be made prior to kickoff was getting used to the surface. The field at Nolensville uses an artificial surface, something that Chadwick pointed out to his players before the contest.
“Nolensville has artificial surface. It’s kind of like Action Indoor (in Tullahoma) except it’s a thicker, more artificial turf. That took a little adjustment, because the ball rolled a different way and bounced at a different pace.”
Making those necessary changes, the Wildcats were able to put up the first score of the evening after Caden connected for the first goal of the game. After being fouled inside the box, Caden lined up for the penalty kick and was successful, giving Tullahoma a 1-0 lead with 19 minutes left in the first half.
Nolensville answered back seven minutes later with a score of its own, tying the game at 1 and teams remained tied at halftime.
“It was one of those situations where our cover defender wasn’t close enough,” Chadwick said. “Once our primary defender was beat, they put up a great shot. We talked about it, but if our defender would have had better shape, he wouldn’t have had that shot opportunity, or if he had, it wouldn’t have made it through our line of defense.”
Two minutes into the second half, Nolensville grabbed the lead, connecting for a score and taking a 2-1 edge.
“We had possession, but we had a turnover in the final third of the field,” Chadwick said. “They ended up capitalizing with a really nice shot that hit the post and went in.”
Nearly 18 minutes into the second half, Farler evened up the contest 2. After a direct kick taken by Casen Connor, Farler received the header, putting it into the back of the net.
Neither team could find the back of the net for the remainder of the game, as the contest finished tied at 2.
Following its two-day trip to Williamson County, Tullahoma will open up District 8-AAA Play on Thursday with a trip to Columbia Central. Kickoff of the varsity game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.