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Wildcats soccer opens season at 3-0

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Thomas Spencer dribbles with the ball in midfield during the first half Tuesday afternoon at Stout Field against Guthrie.

By Evan Grice

Sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

While it might be just three games into the season, it’s hard to argue with the success the Piedmont boys soccer team has had thus far.

Not only have the Wildcats begun the season a perfect 3-0, they have also yet to allow a goal in 240 minutes of regulation play this season.

Both streaks continued Tuesday afternoon at Stout Field, as the Wildcats defeated Guthrie 1-0 on the night, after winning a penalty shootout by a score of 4-1, with Thomas Spencer scoring the game-winner for the Wildcats in the second straight game.

Spencer also claimed the lone goal against Harrah on Monday night to give Piedmont a 1-0 victory.

Perhaps the biggest player on the field Tuesday wasn’t wearing a blue or white uniform; it was a strong gusting wind that was whipping throughout the contest, causing havoc on both sides of the ball.

“Starting out 3-0 is a great accomplishment for this team,” Spencer said. “This is the first time we’ve ever started a season this way and I hope it continues. The wind was a major factor against Guthrie, but our defense was able to pull through and put in a solid performance.”

Piedmont had several chances in both halves, but was unable to capitalize.

Meanwhile, Wildcats goalkeeper Ian Lyman was plenty busy making several key saves, including a couple from close range to keep the game scoreless as it went to a penalty shootout.

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Quent Wheeler fires home his penalty shot during the shootout against Guthrie Tuesday afternoon at Stout Field. Wheeler made his penalty attempt for the Wildcats as the two teams battled to a 0-0 tie during regulation.

Goals from Butch Hampton, Kanton Logan, Quent Wheeler and Thomas Spencer sealed the shootout victory and kept the Wildcats undefeated at 3-0 on the season.

“I’m ecstatic for the boys with this start this season,” Piedmont coach Zac Selph said. “Last year we gave up five goals in different games within the first two minutes. One of our points of emphasis was to get rid of those stupid goals we were giving up and we’ve done that.”

“We actually were a little more dangerous in the second half when we were going into the wind,” Selph added. “Our guys were relying more on their skill, which is something we have a lot more of this season. This is our third game in a row without any practice and our guys battled through. I’m very proud of the way they played.”

Piedmont opened the season against Choctaw on Mar. 7 with a convincing 5-0 victory.

Goals from Thomas Spencer, Steffen Funkhouser, TJ Abraham and a pair from Butch Hampton sent the Wildcats on their way with the victory.

“We’ve got a very good team right now,” Quent Wheeler said. “There are some things here and there that we can be better at. But, we’re going to keep improving throughout the season.”

Piedmont’s next challenge will come in the form of a tough district game against playoff tested Western Heights on Mar. 25th with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. from Stout Field.

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