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Despite ‘phenom’ Mayes game, Skoda leads No. 3 Hawks past CAK

If a goalkeeper could get soccer ball burns from handling extremely hard shots, Christian Academy of Knoxville’s Zach Mayes might need a soothing hand lotion.

Wearing gloves with no hand burn concerns, Mayes turned back several well-struck Hardin Valley Academy shots, diving and leaping to do so, for 80 minutes Thursday night, April 21, at CAK.

In the end, however, two Nick Skoda shots proved a bit too hot to handle.

A high rising Skoda shot from about 25 yards out slipped through the hands of a high-reaching Mayes only 75 seconds into the second half, and that goal helped the state’s Class AAA No. 3-ranked Soccer Hawks ( win 2-1.

Mike McLean, HVA head coach, said Mayes “was phenomenal tonight.” Skoda said Mayes “played a great game, really, really making some big saves.”

Dave Parker, CAK head coach, said he anticipated Mayes’ success. “I told my assistant coach before the game, ‘Tonight, Zach Mayes is going to have the game of his life,’” Parker said. “He’s a great goalkeeper, and it’s about time he had a great game — minus that one fumble. The game of his season so far, reacting really well.”

According to CAK statistics, Mayes ended with 12 saves while Hawks goalkeeper Joey Hinshaw, a senior, had five.

The Warriors (7-4-1) scored late. Stevie Thompson assisted Ben Holt’s goal, coming from about 18 yards out on the left side, with 5:32 to play. “Ryan [Creel] made a great dummy diagonal run and Stevie just had a perfect pass, just saw me and got it through, and I just hit it in,” said Holt, a sophomore midfielder.

As for other top individual efforts for the Warriors, Parker pointed to “our back line, John Mirts, Jay Emmert, Zach Mead, Josh Newman … Never quitting.”


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