Lady Cyclones blitz North

Photo by Kristen Luther
Samantha McClay (2) runs the Lady Cyclone attack.

By Ivan Sanders
The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones' play on the soccer field Tuesday night was like a trickling stream that soon turns into a gushing river.
The Cyclones started out tentatively against the Sullivan North Lady Raiders before turning up the tempo to register a 6-0 shutout in conference action at Dave Rider Field.
"Our level of play was pretty lacking early as far as intensity goes," said Cyclone head coach Bill McClay. "The good thing is that we had six different players score, and that is important because these girls need to have the confidence they can score to take the heat off of the one or two that the other teams focus their attention on all the time."
Samantha McClay scored with only two minutes lapsed off the opening half's clock to stake the Lady Cyclones to an early 1-0 edge on a Brianne Gouge assist.
The half was played mainly on the Lady Cyclones side of midfield as EHS fired 14 shots on goal in the half to nil for the Lady Raiders. Elizabethton scored two more goals in the half to take a 3-0 advantage at intermission.
At the 26:00 mark, Abbie Jenkins took a corner kick off the foot of McClay and aimed the ball, off her chest, into the Raider net for the second goal. The third goal came with one minute left in the half as Lourean Hughes took another McClay corner kick and sent it through the hands of goalie Rebecca Noe.
"I didn't think it was going in because I was not really trying to score," said Hughes. " I was just trying to set someone else up to score, but the ball went through her hands."
The Lady Cyclones came out full of intensity in the second half as Gouge was able to dent the scoreboard after taking a deflected ball sent toward the goal by Hughes. She deposited the ball back into the net at the 48th minute of the contest.
Four minutes later, Katie Presnell lofted the ball over the goalie's head from 25 yards out to push the Lady Cyclone lead to 5-0. Elizabethton's final score came at the 62nd minute of the contest as Ashley Greene put a charge into a kick from over 30 yards out that again was taller than Noe to give the final margin.
It was a dismal night for visiting coach Todd Carpenter, both from the standpoint of his team's play and how his team was being heckled by a group of young Cyclone fans in the stands.
"I told the officials at intermission about the bunch of idiotic young men in the stands that were heckling a group of fragile, emotional girls, but the administration didn't do a thing about it," said Carpenter. "I know we didn't play well and played probably the worse game we have all year, but I won't tolerate that because we don't do that at our place."
Another piece of good news for the Cyclones on the night was the fact it finished the match without any major injuries, and actually saw a young lady take the field for her first action of the season after suffering a broken leg in last year's regional final.
"This was Ashley Mottern's first game on the field since her broken leg last season," said Coach McClay. "She didn't seem to be bothered out there and played quite aggressively for her first time out."
Coach McClay also was pleased with the opportunities created by his team's corner kicks.
"We had an opportunity to score on two or three more corner kicks, but overall the kicks were great," he said. "We still need to develop an attack-the-ball-with-head mentality, but I am really pleased with the whole team's effort."
EHS finished the night with an amazing 28 shots on-goal and nine shots at-goal. North only had three quality shots on EHS goalie Sophia Murillo the entire contest.
The Cyclones ran its record to 3-1-1 in the conference and 5-3-1 overall with the season winding down. North fell to 1-3 conference and 1-6-3 overall.