Lady Rebs stop Lady Cyclones


Star Correspondent

  The Region 1-AAA Sullivan South Lady Rebels (5-6-2) came rolling into Elizabethton for a non-conference match with the Lady Cyclones (7-5-2) as it was Senior Night at Dave Rider Field.
  However, a two goal first half by the Lady Rebels, as well as the remnants of Tropical Depression Jeanne, dampened those festivities, as Sullivan South took a 3-0 victory on Monday evening.
  "The last time we met up it was 2-2, so we expected a tight match coming in," said Lady Cyclones head coach Bill McClay.
  "We just didn't do a good job of keeping the ball when we had it. We had the ball forward a couple of times, we just had the ball go out of bounds, or hit any quality crossings in the box."
  With the rain beginning just as the match kicked off, both squads took the opening minutes to adjust themselves to the adverse conditions, as neither team could find a way to penetrate deep into opposing territory. It appeared as if Sullivan South had broken through at the 23rd minute, when Leah Bishop broke through with a one-on-one situation. However, her shot was stopped on a brilliant save by Elizabethton goal keeper Sophia Murillo.
  The next time, the Cyclones were not as lucky. After a shot on goal by Betsy's Samantha McClay at the 17:30 mark, the Lady Rebels' Stephanie Creasy took control of the ball off of a steal, and found her teammate Katie Adkins downfield virtually alone, as Adkins sent her shot past Murillo, for the first goal of the contest, with 17:04 remaining in the half.
  As the rain began to pick up, so did the Sullivan South offensive attack. The Lady Rebels made two drives deep into Elizabethton territory before being turned away, on a corner kick stopped by Murillo. Unfortunately for the Lady Cyclones, they could not keep up the defense, as only 1:15 seconds before the halftime intermission, Bishop nailed a stunning goal from nearly 25 yards outside of the net, to give her team momentum, and the 2-0 lead at the half.
  "We made two mistakes in the first half and gave them two goals," said McClay. "But they pretty much dominated the play of the first half. Sophia made a great stop on that shot, and we needed to be there to clear it away, but we got caught napping."
  The second half ended just as the same as the first for the Lady Cyclones, as an early goal, by the Lady Rebels' Creasy, put Sullivan South up with a commanding 3-0 lead.
  The Lady Cyclones did not go down without a fight, as Samantha McClay added two late shots on goal, and stellar defensive play by fellow senior Abbie Jenkins thwarted several second half offensive attacks by the Lady Rebels. However, Elizabethton was not able to crack the scoring column, falling to the Lady Rebels by the 3-0 score.
  "We just seem to have hit a lull, we are not communicating so well right now, and our spacing is not good on the field," said McClay of his squad's effort. "We scored a fair amount of goals (earlier in the season), and now we have hit an inability of the team to combine and get the ball in dangerous positions again. I hope we get that corrected before the playoffs."
  Elizabethton will look to preserve their unbeaten conference record which stands at 4-0-1
  as they attempt to get back on the winning track tomorrow evening as they return to conference play at Sullivan North.
  "It is our last conference game. We beat them earlier this year, and we need to come out and win," said McClay.
  "We need to end the regular season on a high note going into the playoffs next week. We have a week off after tomorrow's match, and I would rather have a week to think about a win, than stew over a loss during the week off."