Wildcats cruise to 5-1 victory | Boys soccer

By David Pan | May 19, 2017

Archbishop Murphy started out fast and strong in its 2A state boys soccer tournament opener against Grandview.

The Wildcats took an early 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes and cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Greyhounds Tuesday, May 16, at Archbishop Murphy High School’s Terry Ennis Stadium.

The two-time state defending champions host Kingston in a quarterfinal game at 6 p.m., Saturday, May 20 at Terry Ennis Stadium.

“The first 15 minutes went really well,” Archbishop Murphy coach Mike Bartley said “We played really unselfish ball and scored the easy type of goals.”

The Wildcat defense matched the offense in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Archbishop Murphy has allowed only five goals all season and Tuesday’s goal was the first allowed by sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Mycroft all year.

The defense was missing a couple of players throughout the season but is back to full strength for the postseason.

“It’s our best team that we can put out on the field,” Bartley said.

Mycroft is only a sophomore but his goalkeeping skills are among the best Bartley has ever seen in the state tournament.

“He’s just outstanding and everybody knows with him behind them, they can challenge and go for the ball,” Bartley said. “Between Daniel and (defender) Ryan Henderson, there’s a lot of leadership back there.”

Four players provided the offense for the Wildcats. Isaac Feeney and Matt Williams each scored two goals and Sam Johnson and Chase Whittaker each added a goal.

The Wildcats are one of more experienced, if not the most experienced, team in school history, with 13 returning seniors. The experience of winning back-to-back state titles has prepared the players for this year’s challenge.

“They are laser-focused for what’s ahead of them,” Bartley said. “They know what it takes and what they’re playing for. They’re energized to play well and get back to the final four.”

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