Lady Cyclones stifle Daniel Boone

Photo by Rick Harris Samantha McClay scores one of her four goals on this penalty kick.

Stellar defense, McClay goals trigger 4-0 Elizabethton victory
By Michelle Prater-Pope
GRAY -- The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones had another soccer shutout Monday night over Daniel Boone.
Finishing the game at 4-0, the Lady Cyclones dominated the ball throughout most of the contest, keeping the action dangerously close to the Lady Trailblazers' goal.
The ladies also had a personal cheering squad, a group of enthusiastic Elizabethton High School students, several of which were members of the EHS men's soccer team.
The shirtless boys cheered the team on and simultaneously entertained the crowd, each with a letter painted on his chest, spelling out "Cyclones." Their cheer, "to the top," and the high school flag that they carried in a proud run in front of the bleachers each time Elizabethton scored a goal encouraged the ladies on the field.
"We just decided to do it today," said Tyler Ross, the first "C" in the word "Cyclones." "We were all free tonight, so we decided to get together and come out here."
After 11 minutes of play, and several attempted goals by Elizabethton, Sam McClay kicked a shot in for the Lady Cyclones, but the whistle sounded before it went in. McClay was given a penalty shot instead, which she kicked around the Boone goalkeeper for Elizabethton's first score.
"It should have been a goal before the penalty kick," McClay said. However, the point was good, and between McClay's and Katie Presnell's repeated shots, the Boone goalkeeper had a busy night.
The second score for the Lady Cyclones came from McClay with 10 minutes left in the first half. Sophia Murillo guarded Elizabethton's goal the entire game, while the rest of the team, including Leslie Blowers and Chassie Hodge, made several good blocks against Boone's attempted passes and shots.
"Sophia played a great game in the goal," said Elizabethton coach Bill McClay. "She was right where she needed to be. When the ball was played to her, she caught it, and she didn't drop it, so there were no second chances."
During the second half of the game, the attempted goals were divided up more evenly between the players. Ashley Green added to the pressure on Boone's goal with several shots, and Cassidy Hyatt had a near-score.
"Other people had chances, and hopefully we'll get a few more into the scoring, and that will relieve some of the pressure that they put on Sam," said Coach McClay.
"I feel pretty good," the coach said about the game. "We still missed a few shots, but defensively, we held together pretty well. We didn't make any major errors, so I was happy about that. I got a lot of players in, so a lot of people got experience. I'm trying to find the optimum mix of players."
During halftime, McClay told his team that the intensity level had to go up.
"About the most dangerous score in soccer is two-nothing, because, number one, you're stopping physically, so you lose a little bit of physical edge. And you start to think, wow, it's two-nothing, I'm going to win, so you have a tendency to let down."
Sam McClay kept her scoring run going in the second half, with a 15-yard shot sailing smoothly over the goalkeeper's head to bring the score to 3-0 in Elizabethton's favor. She finished up the game with goal number four going in with less than a minute left in the game.
"It was a good game," Coach McClay said. "They're a more physical team. I thought that skillwise, we were ahead of them, but they played with a lot more intensity than we did."