Miners crush Cougars in season finale

Spradlin-Vogelsang shines in goal despite the lopsided loss

* Photo gallery – click here
Previous coverage
* Dec. 20: Own goal nearly sinks Cougars
* Nov.29: Cougars rally from 3-0 deficit for tie

For AlleganyPlayground.com

CUMBERLAND — There is an old saying in sports that defense wins championships. But even the most defensive-minded teams need at least a hint of an offense if they want to score more than the other team.

Cougars goalie Lucas Spradlin-Vogelsang hard at work in goal.

There wasn’t a drop of defense to be found for the Cougars on Monday night as they lost their season finale to the Miners by an official score of 5-0.

The night didn’t start well for the Cougars, as the Miners scored 30 seconds into the uneven match and had reached the mercy goal limit by halftime. It also didn’t end well. They tacked on another five goals in the second half that were not reflected on the scoreboard.

The Miners’ offensive prowess was so strong that it is believed to be the first game of the year in which the Cougars offense did not manage a single shot on goal. The ball was kicked near the Miners goalie on only a few occasions, and there was never a time when the goalie was seriously challenged.

A Cougars defender works to clear the ball from their end of the field.

That was hardly the case for Lucas Spradlin-Vogelsang.  The 8-year-old from Frostburg was one of the hardest-working individuals on the pitch. He was under a constant barrage of shots from the opponents, who sliced through the Cougars defense like a hot knife through butter.

Spradlin-Vogelsang had one of his best games in goal in three seasons of soccer — outdoor in 2020 and 2021, indoor in 2021-22 — despite the score. He hustled to the ball, stretched, jumped and dove, all the while putting himself in harm’s way on numerous occasions to try and get to the ball before the orange jersey-clad youths calling themselves the Miners sent another shot on goal.

The Cougars defensemen tried their best, but the footwork and skill level of the Miners were simply too strong a challenge to overcome. The Miners passed with precision, juking defenders out of their shoes more than once.

With the loss, the Cougars end the first session of U10 Recreation Division indoor soccer play at the Riverside YMCA in Cumberland with 0 wins, six losses and two ties (0-6-2). There is no playoff system in the Recreational Division.

Lucas Spradlin-Vogelsang slaps the ball away after leaving the turf to block the shot.

Once again, Lucas Spradlin-Vogelsang was in the thick of things as the Miners overwhelmed the Cougars.

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