Lady 'Clones cruise past Central, 7-0

By Michelle Prater-Pope
STAR STAFF
mprater@starhq.com
The Lady Cyclones had their first shutout of the season, 7-0, on Tuesday night in their first conference game, against the Sullivan Central Cougars.
Between senior Katie Presnell and junior Sam McClay, the Cyclones had the Central goalkeepers diving after the ball like a puppy catching a Frisbee.
Starting the game off on the right foot, Presnell made the first shot at the beginning of the first half, with an assist from junior Karin Kitchens. Leading Elizabethton in goals for the game, McClay followed up with point number two.
"I think we started off pretty slow. Even though we had two goals, I didn't think we were playing very well," said Cyclone coach Bill McClay. "I feel like if I can challenge the girls from the sideline, when they get in the game they need to step up the intensity."
Step up the intensity they did, with three more goals scored in the first half, two from McClay and another from Presnell.
With two assists for McClay added to her record, Presnell felt pleased with the way the team played and the help she received from her teammates.
"I feel like we did well after the first few minutes," Presnell said. "We picked it up and I think we had a lot of good 1-2 passes."
"The game was about like we thought it would be," Coach McClay said. "We didn't come out and maintain our intensity throughout the whole game. When the game gets ahead like that, make sure you're still playing."
With balls clanging off the poles and the Elizabethton girls keeping the Cougars pouncing on the ball, the Lady Cyclones played intensely for the rest of the game.
"We had a lot of chances; several of the players had a lot of chances. They hit a couple off the crossbar." said Coach McClay.
The scoring slowed down during the second half, but the Lady Cyclones definitely didn't let their defense down. Though Sullivan Central played more aggressively in the second half, Elizabethton answered with renewed intensity, dominating the field and keeping the ball soaring and sliding around the Cougars' goal.
"All the players got in and got some experience, which is good," said Coach McClay. As he well knows, player experience pays off with wins like the one last night.
Coach McClay was pleased that he was able to put in all three of his goalkeepers.
"They all did something," he said. "One goalkeeper had a couple clearances off the ground; the other one came out and made a quick stop. I was pretty happy."
McClay hopes that his team will be able to play well in the future.
"There are times when there are games that you think you should win, and you need to go out and win them," he said. "They need to come out, put some balls in the net, and not waste them."
After last night's win, the Cyclones are now 2-1 overall, and 1-1 in the conference.
"It was our first shutout, so that was good," said Coach McClay. "We want to make sure that we maintain the shutout."