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Left out in the cold: Western Heights hands No.7 Piedmont first loss

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s TJ Abraham dribbles the ball around a Western Heights player during the first half Tuesday night at Stout Field during the Wildcats district soccer game against the Jets.

By Evan Grice

Sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

While the No. 7 Piedmont Wildcats entered Tuesday night undefeated and riding a shutout streak, they left Stout Field in a completely different fashion.

Western Heights used a three-goal blitz to not only hand the Wildcats their first home loss of the season, but end their consecutive shutout streak as PHS fell 3-0 on a cold and chilly night at Stout Field.

“I thought we played well,” Piedmont coach Zac Selph said. “We gave good effort out there. When you give up goals then it’s hard to keep your head up out there, which is what happened. Having nearly a full two weeks off and then playing a game following one day of practice is going to be tough for anyone.”

After extending its shutout streak to 280 minutes with a scoreless first half, the Wildcats saw its impenetrable force field finally broken with less than 30 minutes to play in the second half.

A free kick from the Jets was shot into the top corner, as Western Heights claimed the 1-0 advantage.

Less than six minutes later, the advantage was doubled as the Jets got a lucky break when a shot off a through ball in the box was connected and sent into the back of the net.

The night was capped off with less than 12 minutes to go when the Jets scored on a 2-on-1 breakaway to make it 3-0.

Physicality was at a premium during the last part of the game as several yellow cards were handed out, along with several no calls for some rough tackles in open play.

Piedmont will look to bounce back this weekend at the Southmoore Tournament, with the Wildcats in action Friday morning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Southmoore High School.

“Southmoore gives us a chance to work on a few things, without any real repercussions to our goals,” Selph said. “These games aren’t going to affect whether or not we make the playoffs. We can experiment with a few things to see what works and what doesn’t work.”

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