Lady Cyclones come up short vs. Crockett

By Wes Holtsclaw
JONESBOROUGH -- The David Crockett Lady Pioneers were waiting for Samantha McClay.
In their contest against the Elizabethton Lady Cyclone soccer squad, David Crockett focused on McClay and used defense to its advantage. A Tracy Casey goal within the first five minutes of play enabled the Lady Pioneers to take a 1-0 victory Tuesday night.
"I told them if we got up, we were going to play a little bit on the defensive side there," said David Crockett coach Tony Snapp. "With a few minutes to go, I had my best player (Melinda Levasseur) drop back unless she had an opportunity to make a one-on-one with an opportunity to score.
"Our whole focus in practice this week was to stop McClay, and you could probably tell by watching," he said. "We marked her up on the whole field the entire time. She's a good player."
Elizabethton had 11 total shots with six corner kicks. It dominated possession for the majority of both halves, but they couldn't get anything to fall into place.
Farrah Fritz, Lourean Hughes, Katie Presnell and Bri Gouge all made attempts with McClay.
"We knew they were going to (focus on McClay), and it gets compounded by the fact that the field is so small," said Elizabethton coach Bill McClay. "Even if she's man-marked on a field that's wider, she's got room to move."
"What it does is make it congested for everybody. So you've got to play for the short passes, and when we slowed down and did that we moved the ball pretty well," he added.
"I think we played well. We had some shots early and we had a couple of good opportunities. We just weren't able to come out."
Elizabethton made the initial move in the contest as McClay got an open shot blocked by Lady Pioneer goalie Genesia Dickson.
It allowed Crockett to quickly move the ball down the field and open up Tracy Casey for a goal.
Crockett kept McClay cornered, and Levasseur, Christina VanDyke and Anna Merriman gave Elizabethton a fit each time they tried to move the ball closer towards the goal.
The Lady Cyclones had some additional shots, but nothing failed.
They continued their offensive dominance in the second half despite being able to put anything on the board, including a close Presnell attempt that almost went in despite being held up by Ashley King.
Some shots up on the goal were nearly missed before Crockett took things back over with time running down.
Levasseur and VanDyke both had shots controlled by Elizabethton goalie Sofia Munillo. However, time had withdrawn for the Lady Cyclones.
"The whole second half we didn't give them many chances," Coach McClay added. "For 32 minutes, our intensity was up, and we had a couple of four-minute lulls when they had the ball down there."
"We'll learn something from it," he said. "Overall, there were some good things that happen. It's just tough to come here because the games are so similar and it just drives me crazy."
It was Crockett's first game in a week and Coach Tony Snapp was pleased with his team's effort.
"Well, we haven't played in a whole week but we played hard for 80 minutes," he said. "I was kind of worried coming in that we would be a little stale, and it got them motivated when we got that quick goal."
Samantha McClay had five cornerkicks fall good out of six attempts.
The Lady Cyclones visit Sullivan North Thursday for an important 5:30 p.m. conference match.