homepage logo

Cougars use the power of positive thinking in 4-1 win

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Oct 2, 2019

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Campbell defender Nicolas Fay (13) tries to disrupt Gilford striker Sam Sawyer's scoring attempt during the Cougars' 4-1 win Tuesday in Litchfield.

LITCHFIELD – When trying to get a home mortgage, many try to avoid having to pay PMI.

Well, the Campbell High School boys soccer players, in their approach to the game, love it.

Because for the Cougars, PMI stands for Positive Mental Imagery, not private mortage insurance. And it’s tough not to be positive about them after they knocked Gilford from the ranks of the unbeaten Tuesday, 4-1, while improving to 8-0-1 themselves.

“Absolutely,” said Campbell coach Bill Miller, who loves the psychology of the game. “And it’s (positive thinking) is proven by science.”

Remember, Campbell is the defending Division III champion, and despite a ton of losses to graduation, they’re still one of the favorites to get back to the title game. That made yesterday’s win, keyed by two David Latsha goals, even more important.

“The season’s wide open right now,” said Cougar forward Tyler St. Onge, one of just five seniors on the team, whose penalty kick goal was the difference yesterday. “We graduated a lot of kids, and we know Gilford (9-1) graduated just as many kids. It’s a wide open season right now and we’re just working hard to get back (to the finals).”

Remarkably, Gilford dominated time of possession, but they made too many mistakes defensively, and the Cougars displayed their speed. Latsha converted a corner kick from Ryan Latsha to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead just six minutes in.

That was the score until five minutes into the second half when St. Onge converted a penalty kick after a hand ball call to make it 2-0. That’s all the Cougars would need. Remember, they won the semis and finals in PKs last year, and practice them every day.

“I’m one of the more consistent players with PK’s, I can keep my composure real well,” St. Onge said. “It’s like a free throw, there’s no real reason to miss it.”

And he didn’t, putting it where Gilford’s Donnelly had no chance.

“Defensively, we can’t get any worse than that,” Gilford coach Dave Pinkham said. “Territorially, we did some great stuff there. But you can’t make mistakes and expect to stay in the game. They take advantage; that’s why they’re the defending champs.”

Just after Campbell sophomore goalkeeper Jackson Noury made one of his six saves, many of the incredible kind, Latsha added to the Golden Eagles’ frustration with his second goal, taking Noury’s goal kick all the way downfield at 52:44 for a 3-0 lead.

Gilford’s Sam Sawyer finally got the Golden Eagles on the board five minutes later, but St. Onge later fed Joaquin Heller for a 4-1 lead in the 61st minute, and that was a wrap.

“That’s exactly what you should do,” Miller said of the Cougars’ response to the Gilford pressure and goal. “My parents were boxers in Philadelphia. You get hit once, you better come back or you’re going to be gone.”

Pinkham feels the Cougars are the division’s most physical team, and that worked for Campbell yesterday.

“We played tough,” Miller said. “Gilford is remarkably talented for Division III, they really are. And the closer we got to them, the more we could defend. You’ve got to play tough, because they’re tough.”

And keep that PMI flowing.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *