After suffering its first district loss of the season Tuesday, the Hixson boys’ soccer team was ready for an opportunity to get back on the right track against Arts & Sciences.
It took a while Thursday night, but the Wildcats finally were able to get that to happen.
Sikhou Sy scored two goals and the Wildcats held on to defeat the scrappy Patriots 2-1 in the District 6-A/AA contest.
The win was big for Hixson, which played without senior midfielder Nau Alvarez, to stay in the thick of the district race. The Wildcats, 5-1 in 6-A/AA, had lost 2-1 to East Ridge.
“We really needed this win,” Hixson coach Jeff Dean said. “It’s important for us to stay in this race. We’re inconsistent, but if we can play up to our potential every game, we’ll settle down and play consistently as a team.”
The Wildcats will face East Hamilton on Tuesday with a chance to create a three-way tie for first in the district.
CSAS struck first Thursday, Drew Mallett heading in a goal early in the first half. The goal did a lot to strengthen the confidence of the Patriots, who played without sophomore goalkeeper David May. He found out Wednesday he had mononucleosis and had to miss.
Senior forward Michael Ball, one of the Patriots’ leading goal scorers, took May’s place and made six saves.
“Michael did a good job for us tonight,” CSAS coach Carrie Hill said. “We played with a lot of effort as a team, and I thought that scoring first gave us even more confidence.”
Sy tied the game midway through the first half, then pushed the Wildcats into the lead in the second half on a shot from the right side.
“What we lack in talent, we make up for in hustle,” Hill said. “I think we’re starting to improve. The guys have bought into the program, and I think we could be a factor in the [district] tournament.”