It is just the way things go in sports sometimes. An injury benches one player, an illness benches another. From youth teams to the professionals, there is no escaping it. Unfortunately for the Aledo Bearcats soccer team, that is where they are in right now.
It all started on Tuesday, Jan. 4, during a win against Abilene Wylie that captain and star midfielder Clay Murador got raked by a cleat and hurt his achilles. The injury kept him out of the Colleyville Heritage tournament the weekend of Jan. 6-8. On top of that, junior defenseman Jackson Tucker was held out due to illness.
From there, everything snowballed. Going into the tournament, almost the entire starting eleven was battling some form of injury or illness, leaving senior Taylon Kessler and junior Sawyer Storck as the only players with varsity experience to take the pitch.
With so many players not playing and the inexperience of the starters, the Bearcats struggled in the tournament, falling 1-0 to Burleson in the first match. The next day was not any better for Aledo, as they fell to Irving Nimitz 3-0.
Things looked grim going into the final day. Having to face Keller Timber Creek, who had beaten Irving Nimitz 6-1, the young Bearcat squad had a tall task ahead. Unfortunately their fears were realized when Timber Creek dominated from start to finish, dropping Aledo easily by a score of 7-0. The final result was the worst defeat in the history of Aledo soccer.
Head Coach Derek Vierling hoped to get some of his players back after the tournament in time for their match with Crowley on Tuesday, Jan. 11. However none of the players were able to return, and Aledo once again was forced to go in short handed.
Much like the game with Timber Creek, Crowley took advantage of the weakened Bearcats and rolled to a 6-0 shut out. The four game stretch is among the worst in program history, also including the two worst defeats.
The good news is that most of the players who have been out are expected to return in time for the Moritz Kia Tournament from Thursday, Jan. 13 to Saturday, Jan. 15 at Bearcat Stadium and the surrounding grass fields. The Bearcats will look to get back on track and boost their 1-4 record with strong performances at home.
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