Tony Bennett celebrates momentous win

Apr. 3—HENDERSON — On Tuesday, Tony Bennett made his mark, becoming the winningest girls' soccer coach in Crossroads Christian's five-year history with a 10-1 victory over the Bradford Academy Archers.

"I'm appreciative of the opportunity. I've been coaching soccer for a long time, and I understand the ups and downs," said Bennett. "It is a big deal, but I don't want to focus on that with the task we have at hand."

The stomping over Bradford was Bennett's 20th victory in a just season-and-a-half as head coach. In his first year with this squad in 2023, Bennett led his team to a 16-1 record, going undefeated in the conference and nabbing a state championship ring to cap it off.

"That was crazy, I can't explain the joy of doing that," he said.

Now looking to repeat the same success they had last year, Bennett says he and his girls are just taking it one game at a time. In just under two years, Crossroads girls' soccer has developed into a powerhouse with Bennett as the focal point.

"Crossroads has always been the team that everyone wanted to play because they were an easy win," said Bennett. "Now, no one wants to play us because we're tough."

Bennett credited his predecessor, Holden Coghill, for the toughness of the team he inherited. He also credited Elyssa Phillips, Anderson Boyd and Rebekah Himes for their contributions as "coaches on the field," knowing where to make the right play without having to be told to do so.

According to their coach, the first half against Bradford was "a little sluggish" for the Colts, coming off spring break. The first goal came less than eight minutes into the first half when one of the Colts' forwards sent a shot high towards the goal, which deflected off the goalie's hands and into the net.

Despite the slow start to the match, the Colts turned it around in the second half, scoring seven goals in under 40 minutes to force a stoppage of play with just 27 seconds left to spare.

Still trying to score late in the game and secure the 'Mercy Rule' ending in the blowout, Bennett urged his defense to keep playing and urged midfielder Abby Taylor to keep shooting. A late save from Haley Edwards kept the Archers at one goal as Leanna Wimsatt was set to check back in late in the second half.

Wimsatt skirted around her defender on the wing and sent a left-legged strike inside the post to make it 9-1. Then, a few moments later, scored again to end the game after dribbling through the entire defense.

The win continues the upward swing for the Colts after a deviation from the norm with a loss to St. Thomas More Academy a few weeks ago. With their goal of repeating a state championship in mind, this team has "high expectations" for what they can accomplish the rest of the year.

"Crossroads is the team that is exciting to watch, and anybody interested in sports should come take a look at it," said Bennett. "It's not just a good school for athletes, but for everybody."

STATSLeanna Wimsatt — 5 goals, 2 assists

Elyssa Phillips — 2 goals, 1 assist, 6 steals

Anderson Boyd — 1 goal, 4 assists

Abby Taylor — 1 goal, 5 steals

Hailey Grissom — 1 goal, 1 assist