HENDERSON — A season filled with many positives and negatives for the Crossroads Christian men’s soccer program concluded on Friday evening with a 4-0 loss to Ridgecroft in the quarterfinals of the NCISAA 1A playoffs.
Head coach Holden Coghill knew it would be difficult for his players to defeat a Ridgecroft team that had not lost a single game all year, and credited the opposition for putting together a great performance to keep its season alive.
“Ridgecroft played very, very well on Friday night,” Coghill said. “I’m proud of my guys for the way they fought, but I do believe the better team won that game.”
Although CCS ended its 2020 campaign with a 3-7 record, Coghill considers himself grateful that he and his players were able to take the field and show off their chemistry in a year where the COVID-19 pandemic prevented other schools from fielding teams.
Winning games in a shortened season was not an easy task, as Coghill had to make several changes to his lineup and rotations after a positive COVID-19 test within the program forced four players to self-isolate at the beginning of the year.
Despite lacking depth, the Colts nearly claimed a victory in their season-opener after losing 6-5 to Southside Christian in double overtime. But the absences caught up to them with two lopsided defeats to Friendship Christian and Thales Academy.
Once Coghill got his four players back from quarantine, he noticed improvement in CCS’ on-field performance and believed that they looked like a program deserving of a spot in the quarterfinals of the NCISAA 1A playoffs once the season came to a close.
Junior Ryan Adock and freshman Will Alston were key components on offense, combining to score 15 goals. Junior goalkeeper Gage Edwards did everything to keep opposing players out of the net, tallying 172 saves in 10 games. The trio received Mid-Carolina All-Conference honors for their efforts.
While the firepower on offense did not yield many wins for CCS, the Colts were still able to improve upon their total from 2010 in just 10 games. But Coghill admitted his team’s victory against Kerr-Vance Academy in penalty kicks at home was the most special for him and his team.
“I know that win over KVA was a personal high note for a lot of guys,” Coghill said. “I knew about the rivalry between Crossroads and KVA growing up because of some family ties in Henderson. I had beaten KVA as a coach for different schools, but that was my first win over KVA with Crossroads, so that was a very great day.”
Coghill added that everyone did their part to ensure that CCS handled the adversity brought on by the pandemic and did what they needed to improve. The team featured a stout class of six seniors being vocal leaders in practice and in the locker room, and younger players, including some from the middle-school team, stepping up and making plays.
Coghill expects the 2021 season to be filled with plenty of more adjustments with his senior class set to graduate in the summer, but he is confident that CCS will continue to make strides in soccer with Adcock, Alston, Edwards and many others all set to return.
“A lot of our younger guys really took some big steps in their development,” Coghill said. “We’ve got some middle-school kids that are going to make a push, but you have guys like Noah Newbern and Sam Boyd who do a lot of things you can put down as a stat. Eric Simmons also played well for us at times, but all three are blue-collar work ethic people who do anything for you, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”