Nathaniel Havens netted a second-half hat trick for Sycamore as the War Eagles rolled to a 7-0 victory at Kenwood on April 6.
The win is the second-straight shutout for Sycamore, which is off to its best start to a season in head coach Taylor McCullough’s tenure.
“I think we just want it more than anyone else,” Havens said. “We’ve been putting in work since around last November. We just want it more than everyone else.”
Even with newcomers in Samuel Pentecost from Goodpasture and Dawson Atnip with MBA, the War Eagles (7-0) managed to mesh well through their first seven matches. While McCullough was not in attendance for the match due to personal reasons, assistant coach Mat Simon echoed the togetherness of his team.
“Really, the boys want it this year,” he said. “They’re ready for a win; they want the win. They’re motivated. I don’t know what lit them on fire, but I love it.
“It’s just phenomenal, the amount of friendship that they’ve built with each other and [how they] just work so well together; it’s amazing.”
Sycamore kicked off the scoring barrage with an eighth-minute penalty kick goal from Landon Gleaves. The senior captain found the back of the net again with a heel kick nearly six minutes later. Noah Hardin and Cameron Johnson rounded out the scoring in the first 40 minutes to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead.
Havens’ three goals were all within the final 20 minutes of play, with his last shot connecting in the 79th off another penalty kick opportunity.
“This is actually only his third year playing,” Simon said. “He’s usually a football player, so this is his third year of playing soccer ever, he’s never played before. He’s just so quick and we love him for it.”
The loss kept Kenwood winless and scoreless on the young season. For Knights’ head coach Brian Menhennet, improvement throughout the year will be found in his players’ mentality moving forward.
“My hope is that at the end of the season their attitude is different and their mindset is different from today and from last week’s game,” he said. “There’s a lot of discouragement on their part. Obviously, second game we’re losing [7-0], so we need to maybe make up for that. Hopefully, they have a different mindset coming in, a little bit more positive.”
Both teams were back in action April 8. Sycamore aimed to keep its undefeated streak alive when hosting Cheatham County Central. Kenwood traveled to Rossview.