Penalty kick propels Crockett past 'Betsy

By Allen LaMountain

   Senior Brandy Coppock drilled home a penalty kick in the 68th minute of play to lead the David Crockett Lady Pioneers past the 'Betsy Cyclones 3-2, at Brown-Childress Stadium on Tuesday night.
   The Lady Cyclones (4-4) were called for a handball in the goal box, which calls for a penalty kick, and Coppock was up to the task sending a shot high and past Elizabethton goalkeeper Maria Francisco.
   "She stepped up with that shot," said Crockett head coach Tony Snapp. "There was some pressure on her, but the senior made the shot."
   The Lady Pioneers brought the attack to 'Betsy, after some sloppy play early by both squads, out-shooting EHS 7-1 in the first half. Freshman wing Whitney Shumate was on the receiving end of a crossing pass by Tarra Wardrop and Shumate tallied the goal at the 22-minute mark of the first half.
   "We played last night and I was sort of worried that we might be a little flat," commented Snapp. "And at first we were, but when (Shumate) scored that picked everyone up, and we picked up the pace."
   For their part the Lady Cyclones stuck with a defensive posture in the first half, not really giving up great scoring chances to Crockett, but never establishing an attack mentality as yet.
   "For a good part of the first half we just stood around," said Cyclone head coach Bill McClay. "We started to get it together late in the first half, and we carried that into the second half."
   After the break EHS began to mount some serious threats to Crockett goalkeeper Elizabeth Collins as sophomore Samantha McClay drilled home a free kick from 25-yards away to knot the contest at 1-1 just four minutes into the second half.
   McClay tallied again 11-minutes later when she was taken down outside the goal box setting her up from about 18-yards out and she beat Collins once again to give EHS a 2-1 advantage.
   It seemed that the Lady Cyclones had grabbed momentum from Crockett, but three minutes later a miscue in the defensive end would prove costly. Wardrop jumped on a loose ball just outside Betsy's goal box and one dribble later poked the ball between a defender and Francisco to tie the game at 2-2.
   "We just didn't clear the ball out of there," said McClay. "We had just taken the lead, and then we let them right back in it. There was a letdown or lack of communication on our part. I can't fault the effort. The girls played with intensity in the second half, and I was glad to see that."
   That set the stage for Coppock who was true on her shot, and with 12-minutes remaining in regulation the Lady Cyclones' backs were against the wall.
   They responded by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Collins in a furious comeback attempt that saw Betsy pour five quality shots at the Crockett goal only to come up empty. Two shots on breakaways by Katie Presnell and McClay went wide of the pipes and Collins made stops on the other three to close out the contest.
   "You couldn't possibly play as hard as that for 80 minutes or you would die," said McClay, marveling at the effort his squad put out in the last minutes to get the tying score. "That is the kind of intensity that you like to see as a coach. We would have liked a win, or at least a draw, but this game is funny at times. You can feel like you out-played a team and still come up short."