When they entered into Thursday’s soccer match with East Hamilton, the Cleveland Lady Raiders had a perfect 3-0 District 5-AAA record.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, the Lady Hurricanes were able to leave a blemish on that record, as they won 1-0 after 20 minutes of overtime.
“No excuses — they came out, and I think we got better tonight. I was impressed with their second half; they made some adjustments and were a bit more fluid. We looked tremendously better than we did against Bradley,” Lady Raiders head coach Andy Byrd said. “We’ve got a long way to go. We’re a good team and have the potential to be great, so I think that ultimately this is OK. We’ve just got to work ourselves out of it, maybe adjust some things and go from there.”
Despite a flurry of activity on the field, neither team was able to translate any plays into goal-scoring ones, and the 80 minutes of play ended with two goose-eggs on the scoreboard.
“Our possession was much better; we were using Jenna a lot more and were trying to do the right thing. East Hamilton was just very disciplined and organized and gave us fits. They had eight or nine in the box for most of the night, and we just couldn’t break through,” Byrd explained.
With a little over six minutes remaining in the first mandatory 10 minutes of overtime, Lauren Barcelona, who was assisted by Peyton Rauth, got East Hamilton the game-winning goal.
After another 10 minutes of overtime, it was the Lady ’Canes who walked away with the win. Thursday’s match also marked the first time that the Lady Raiders have been shut out this season.
“Anytime you face a team that has a flat back four, it takes patience, creativity and more patience. We couldn’t get in, and I think we just ran out of time. Our pace was a bit off from running so much against Bradley,” Byrd stated. “We had tremendous play tonight. Jenna Scoggins played well in goal, Sohara [Perez] looked good and is battling through an injury. We had some good stuff Sam [DeBien[ and Kenzie [Harris], and our outside mids played well. It was just an ugly game. Sometimes the game is mean, and you’ve just got to learn how to roll with it.”
Cleveland still has two more district opponents to play in the immediate future, and Byrd knows that the focus needs to remain on those games and not on the loss to East Hamilton.
“We’re kind of in a low spot, and we’ve got to have some leadership to get us out of it. Unfortunately, it can be hard to recover. I told them that they have to have a short memory and have to forget about it and move on. We continue district play next week, so we’ll see what happens then,” Byrd said. “We’ll do everything we can tomorrow and Monday to refocus and get ready for Ooltewah on Tuesday.”
The Lady Raiders will travel down to the Lady Owls territory Tuesday, with the match starting at 7 p.m.
Currently, Cleveland, East Hamilton and McMinn County are all tied up in the district with 3-1 records. Soddy-Daisy, who is 2-0, holds the first place spot for now.
Lady Cherokees 4,
ATHENS — Bradley Central is still on the hunt for their first District 5-AAA win following a 4-0 loss to a tough McMinn County.
This was the Bearettes’ (5-5, 0-4) fourth consecutive district game.
“Our girls battled and fought every minute of the game. We had a lot of responsibility defensively, which caused us to have a slow start offensively,” head coach Chrissy McKinney commented. “Lydia Brown, as always, played big for us in the goal. Sometimes, I’m not sure she understands the difference she makes for this team. The girls on the field work hard for her because they see how much she continues to give and work for them.”
The Lady Cherokees were able to get two goals in the first 40 minutes of play and two more in the final 40 minutes.
“Courtney Ford and Haley Yarber took care of a lot of the attack down the center. McMinn is very good at finishing from the outside,” McKinney said.
The Bearettes will travel to the Redoubt soccer field on Monday for a 5 p.m. match against the Chattanooga Patriots and will then venture to Nashville Thursday for a tournament.
“I am hoping that we can carry the things we have learned from these two weeks of very challenging district play into those games and come out with a victory,” McKinney said.
LADY HURRICANES 1, LADY RAIDERS 0
Halftime score: 0-0. Goals: Lauren Barcelona (EH). Assists: Peyton Rauth (EH). Record: Cleveland 6-4, 3-1 District 5-AAA; East Hamilton 5-6-1, 3-1 District 5-AAA.