Soccer (Boys V)

Wildkats Improve Against Indians in Conference Play on Senior Day

By Aaron Blessing | Sep 16, 2023 7:26 PM

The Kokomo Wildkats hosted conference foe Anderson and defeated the visitors by a score of 3-1 on a glorious, sun-soaked Senior Day. The Kats controlled possession early, and looked comfortable on the attack in the opening moments of the match. In the fourth minute of play, junior co-captain Ben Herrera passed to junior forward Javier Carrera near the Indians’ penalty area. Carrera weaved through two Anderson defenders and fired a shot through traffic in front of the Indian goal. The ricochet snuck past the keeper for a 1-0 Wildkat lead in the sixth minute. In the next 15 minutes, the Wildkats created several opportunities. Anderson’s keeper stopped Carrera’s breakaway. Off of a Kat corner kick, senior Flory Bidunga sent a close range shot over the bar and out of play. Although the Kats earned several corner kicks, the Indians cleared shots away from the goal several times, and capitalized moments later when they broke the Wildkat pressure on the right side of the Wildkat defense, slotting home a goal to tie the game at 1-1. After the break, the Wildkats picked up the possession and defensive pressure. After an Indians foul, senior AJ Blessing’s bomb of a free kick from 40 yards out snuck under the crossbar and over the keeper’s outstretched hands for a 2-1 Wildkat lead they would not relinquish. Then the game opened up with Herrera, Carrera, and Bidunga continuing to create chances. Junior Rylan Early nearly notched a third goal when his shot from the right side of the goal bounded off the far post and out of play. With five minutes to play, Carrera nodded home a Herrera corner kick to complete his brace and finish off the visitors by a final score of 3-1. Freshman Ethan Landrum finished with 7 saves, and the team’s collective defending effort showed marked improvement. Your men of the match are Senior AJ Blessing and Juniors Javier Carrera and Ben Herrera. We enjoyed recognizing our seniors today, too: Igor Alves, Flory Bidunga, AJ Blessing, and Des McDonald played well today, and we wish them well as they complete their senior year. Our senior managers, Bonnie Fairchild and Halle Helmberger, continue to be a help with video and stats this season. The Junior Varsity stayed close with Anderson, but dropped its match by a score of 3-0. The Wildkats (4-7-0, 2-4-0) host conference foe Marion Tuesday in a varsity only match.