Cavaliers prevail in 1-0 game

Published 12:18 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Daily News

With no margin for error, Callaway goal keeper Josh Cooprider was up to the challenge.

The Cavaliers scored an early goal during Monday’s region showdown with the Spencer Greenwave, and thanks in no small part to the effort of Cooprider, that was enough.

Callaway walked away with a 1-0 victory to improve to 4-1 in Region 5-AA while completing a season sweep of Spencer, which won the region title a year ago.

Callaway scored 12 minutes into the game on a goal by Wes Brooks, with Ian Bryan assisting.

Both teams had their chances after that, but that one goal was it.

Callaway’s defense, with Cooprider standing tall in goal, was up to the challenge.

Cooprider has been Callaway’s primary goal keeper for the past three games, all wins, and he made some outstanding saves on Monday.

Late in the second half, Cooprider made a game-saving play when got his hands on a ball that looked like it was headed for the back of the net.

Cooprider played some at goal keeper last season, and he admittedly had an issue with confidence, but he feels like he belongs now.

“Last year, I was really nervous,” Cooprider said. “Anytime I had to get in there I had butterflies in my stomach. It’s just recently, coach has given me confidence. He told me to do what I’ve got to do. Pretty much whenever I step out there, I’ve got confidence. I don’t let anything get to me.”

Now, being involved in a 1-0 game with so much on the line is something Cooprider savors.

“I love pressure, especially here lately,” Cooprider said. “I know I’ve earned it, and I’ve just got to do my job every night.”

It was a critical win for the Cavaliers, who are alone in second place in the region behind the Lamar County Trojans.

If Callaway wins its final three region games, it will finish no lower than second.

If Callaway finishes first or second, it will host a state-playoff game.

Monday’s game was played in frigid conditions on a field that was muddy in spots because of the recent rain, and head coach Mike Petite was proud of the way the players handled those issues.

“With the field, with the cold, it was whoever wanted to work hard enough for the win,” Petite said. “And we worked real hard tonight.”

Callaway will host Westlake on Thursday.