What a difference a year makes.
Last fall, Wickliffe dropped a 10-0 decision at Madison but on Monday, the Blue Devils opened the 2020 campaign with a 4-3 home win over the Blue Streaks.
“It was an exciting start to the season for sure, especially after losing to Madison 10-0 last year,” said Wickliffe coach Dominik Severino. “Obviously, Julio (Gutierrez) always puts out a great team and they are in a bit of a rebuilding process but they still come to play.”
Despite a youth movement of its own, Wickliffe matched Madison’s physical style of play and executed its game plan almost flawlessly.
“I thought our guys matched the physical play of Madison, which was a big issue of ours last year with such a young team,” Severino said. “A strong, organized backline led by our senior captain Josh Bradac really looked well tonight. We still have a lot of work to do with some key concepts we are installing this year but for not even knowing if we were going to play any games seven days ago, I was pretty happy with the product we put out today.”
Jack Sumrada, Shane Williams, Brady Pugh and Colby Humbert each scored goals for the Blue Devils. Williams also added a pair of assists.
Gabe Stoehr recorded four saves in the net.
“Tonight’s win was due to a lot of pressure up front and a good work rate from all 11 guys on the field,” Severino said. “We field a program with 16 sophomores and a lot of those guys play heavy minutes, so as of now, we just aren’t quite yet in a place to out possess teams so we have to make up for it with constant work. We stay super organized with our backline and look to make quick work transitioning to the attack. Set pieces were key tonight for both teams, I thought.”
Coleton Phipps, Nick Visel and Alex Kamsingh scored for Madison while Carter Horvath recorded five saves.