No answers for McClay
Senior's six goals break EHS single-game record

By Marvin Birchfield
star staff

  KINGSPORT--The Elizabethton girls soccer team ended the season with a 6-0 victory over Sullivan North on Tuesday to finish out the year at 8-5-2.
  The Lady Cyclones will meet up with North again next Monday, as it will start the beginning of the District 1-A/AA tournament.
  "It's a winning season and a pretty decent year, and I'm finally glad to see this team start putting it in the goal again," said Elizabethton coach Bill McClay. "
  It was another impressive performance from Samantha McClay, who scored all six goals for Elizabethton to set a new school record while tying for second in the state for most goals in a game.
  "It's a new record for both the girls and boys," said Samantha McClay.
  McClay had already acquired the school record for most goals prior to the season, and with 33 this year, she has set the single-season record.
  The Cyclones got off to a slow start, as they had several scoring opportunities slip away.
  "Already playing them once before, I think the girls expected a similar result," said Bill McClay. "You can't take things for granted, which I thought we did in the first half, because we had enough chances, but didn't capitalize on them."
  Samantha McClay captured the first goal for the Cyclones halfway through the first period, after receiving a pass from Karin Kitchens.
  Elizabethton managed another goal before the first period ended when Sophia Murillo made the assist to Samantha.
  Murillo was replaced with the regular duties of goal keeping by Mara LaPorte, who made three saves in her rotating role.
  "It was very nerve racking -- I haven't done it in a while," said LaPorte. "I got a little refreshment from Sophia at halftime, and I'm just our defense was able to step up and take care of all the shots.
  "I was just happy that nobody scored."
  After grabbing a 2-0 lead at the half, it took Elizabethton 17 minutes to get its third goal when Rachael Oliver made the pass to Samantha for the shot.
  "It was a little slow starting off, then we settled down and started playing possession," said Samantha. "We started passing the ball around more and getting up field on the defense."
  It was a snowball effect after that, with McClay lightning up the score board with three more goals over the next eight minutes.
  "The second half I thought we kind of wore them down a bit," said Bill McClay. "I was pretty happy, but I would have liked to see some other people score, because we're going to need that. When they get those chances to score they've got to put it in."
  An assist from Leslie Blowers to Samantha made it 5-0 with 18 minutes left in the contest.
  Samantha finished the night with her sixth goal coming with 15 minutes to go.
  The goal extended McClay's record to 117 total, which pulls her to within three of catching Greeneville's Erica Lashomb, who set the district record of 120 goals in 1996-98.
  The victory secures the Cyclones with homefield advantage in both the district and regional tournaments.
  "It all comes down to they have one exceptional player, who'll probably play Division 1 college soccer," said Sullivan North coach Vicki McGlothlin. "She's a big fish in a small pond, and I mean that in a positive way. Last year it was 2-1 in the final minute, and I'm hoping somehow the pride will kick in with these girls, but right now I'm just questioning their heart."