Lady Cyclones stuff Cougars

Asst. Sports Editor

  BLOUNTVILLE -- The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones put yet another notch into the victory column Tuesday when they defeated the Sullivan Central Lady Cougars, 7-1.
  "This game was really hard because of the injuries," freshman Mara LaPorte said. "We had to shift people around and get put in positions I have never played before. I didn't know exactly where I was supposed to be. I was just really glad I was able to open it up with a good start and on a good foot."
  The Lady Cyclones (4-0 conference, 7-3-1 overall) dominated the first half on the game, and in the fourth minute Brianne Gouge made the pass to LaPorte for the first goal.
  They kept the pressure on the Lady Cougars. Natasha Baker had a shot on goal off a pass from Samantha McClay, and goalkeeper Katie Jones made the save for the Lady Cougars, but moments later, in the 10th minute, McClay banked an unassisted goal for a 2-0 lead.
  After the 15th minute, the Lady Cougars seemed to pick up the pass a bit and was managing to keep the ball in their territory some. Rachel Martin had two attempts, one on goal, but couldn't put her team on the board.
  For the final 15 minutes, the Lady Cyclones hung on to the ball but it wasn't until the final minute of the half that Savannah Cairnes received a pass from McClay for the team's third goal and her first career goal.
  "I am really happy I got my first goal," senior Savannah Cairnes said. "I am just thrilled. I should have had more but I couldn't get up there. I just do what the coach tells me and get on the right side. I stay where I need to be and try and be in the right place at the right time. I am pumped up now and ready to get some more goals."
  The Lady Cougars came back out of the half fighting to stay in the game. Central's Martin finally put her team on the board in the 10th minute of the second half, unassisted, and turned around a minute later and had another shot-on-goal but it was saved by Cyclone keeper, Sophia Murillo.
  In the 15th minute, Baker made the pass to McClay around the 20-yard mark and McClay would work around a handful of defenders for a goal and keep their three point lead.
  Gouge also found her way to the goal again in the 22nd minute, unassisted. McClay would have another unassisted goal in the 30th and 39th minutes to finish off the Lady Cougars, six points down.
  Central's goalkeeper and Murillo both totaled nine saves in the game.
  "I am just really glad we have all of these seniors this year," LaPorte said. "I am really going to miss them next year. We are top in our conference right now and hopefully we can stay that way after Saturday."
  On Saturday, the Lady Cyclones will host the Jr. Lady Bucs, and if the Lady Cyclones come out on top again as they did in their match earlier in the season, they will be guaranteed first place in the district. But before Saturday comes, they will have to take on the Lady Trailblazers at Boone.
  The Lady Cyclones defeated the Lady Trailblazers by a close 2-1 margin this past Saturday.
  "We like our field better because some of these other fields are so small," LaPorte said. "It is so hard, like on corner kicks, to get the ball up high enough for a head because the field is so short."
  "I am happy," head coach Bill McClay said. "We got a couple of players back into the scoring column, Bri and Mara, and Savannah got her first one. I think we scored the first two pretty quick and I don't think we played very well until second half. Savannah knocking that one in there at the end of the first half was a big pick me up.
  "They say that 2-0 is the most dangerous score in soccer because the team that is up two thinks they are great and they have a tendency to mentally let down," he said. "We have talked about that all year but that still didn't seem to matter tonight. They came right back on us and put pressured the goal and then in the beginning of the second half, they scored on us. I think we expected to win and weren't doing the things necessary to make sure we would win."
  The Lady Cylones will then host Sullivan South and travel to Sullivan North next week to end out their regular season.