Sophomore earns three assists off right-side corner kicks in Tuesday (Sept. 17, 2019) 4-2 home win over Knob Noster. Chace Corbin and Mason Baxter net two goals each as Hornets move to 5-1
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — If you find yourself in a poker game with 2019 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS soccer Hornets sophomore Drake Cosgrove some time, be careful how you bet when he’s dealing.
The sophomore distributed some nice cards to teammates Chace Corbin and Mason Baxter, leading to each of them holding a pair in the Hornets’ home match against Knob Noster Tuesday (Sept. 17).
However, at match’s end, Cosgrove held three of a kind – earning assists three times off corner kicks from the offensive right side, leading CHS to a 4-2 victory at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II.
When Ch. Corbin, far from the tallest of players, leaped and dislodged the ball with his head from the grip of leaping Panthers goalkeeper Eric Wade with just over a minute remaining in the match, Chillicothe secured its fifth triumph in six outings thus far in 2019.
That win-insuring goal came – as the Hornets’ first two had – at the end of well-placed Cosgrove corner kicks that dropped into the danger zone within yards of the Knob Noster net.
The first time it happened, nine minutes into the contest, Ch. Corbin also was the cashier of Drake’s deposit. As the ball sailed across the goal mouth, a KNHS defender misjudged its carry and the ball landed right at the feet of the Hornets sophomore, who volleyed it into the net from about seven yards out.
Just over 10 minutes later, Knob Noster tied it with its own corner-kick conversion. Another drive to the front of the net from the right side, like Cosgrove’s on the earlier goal, sailed all the way to the far edge of the goalmouth, there finding the head of Owen Presley for a 5-yards redirection into the corner of the netting.
Not quite 10 after that, another corner kick occurred – this time for the hosts – and once more Cosgrove’s right-footed blast found another black-clad Hornet.
This time, Cosgrove hooked the ball a bit farther from the goal and a shorter distance. As planned, junior Baxter came racing toward it and, jumping, got his head on it while a marking defender could only watch from the turf. With lots of pace, Baxter’s header sailed toward the far side, easily beating the Knob Noster goalkeeper for his team-high ninth goal of the season and a 2-1 CHS lead after 28:51.
Early in the second half, the match’s only goal not coming off a “set piece” (predesigned play off a free or corner kick) put Baxter’s season goals total in double digits.
He caught up to a long pass from back Carter Allen and had a breakaway, easily winning the 1-on-1 battle with the netminder for his second tally of the day and 10th of the season in the fifth minute of the second segment.
That’s how things stayed until Baxter’s knack for finding the net proved disadvantageous to his team.
A foul called on the Hornets near the east sideline of Bob Fairchild Field gave Knob Noster a direct free kick from about 35 yards away from the CHS net. The attempt easily sailed over the 4-men “wall” of CHS defenders, but seemed to be destined to sail either harmlessly wide of the goal or into the grasp of goalkeeper Jaxon Albertston.
However, as the sophomore netminder glided to his left to be ready to grab it if it came near him, the ball was intercepted in mid-air by the head of the elevating Baxter. Although he seemingly hoped to pop the ball high into the air and well over his team’s goal, the junior made only grazing contact about eight yards in front of the net, just enough to alter its trajectory not over the net, but just over the unsuspecting Albertson and into the upper portion of the goal. With a bit over 11 minutes left, Chillicothe found itself once more in a 1-goal match.
The Hornets did a good job of preventing any quality scoring chances by the opponent the rest of the way until Cosgrove and Ch. Corbin combined once more to ice the victory.
Statistically, Cosgrove’s trifectas of assists give him four on the season. Ch. Corbin tripled his goals total to three and Allen earned his first point with his helper. Albertson provided two saves to the winning cause.
The varsity Hornets, in the midst of a 2-weeks-plus hiatus from Midland Empire Conference competition, will participate in the Moberly Invitational tournament this Friday and Saturday.
They’ll begin that Friday with a 7 p.m match against the hosts on the new artificial surface at Larry K. Noel Spartan Stadium. On Saturday, then they’ll go against Mexico at 9 a.m. Saturday and tough Kirksville at noon that day.