Lady 'Clones clinch second place with victory over Central

Photo by Dave Boyd
ElizabethtonÕs Ariel Rockett (left) shoots the ball past a Central player.

By Ivan Sanders
Coming into Tuesday evening's soccer contest with Elizabethton Lady Cyclones, the Lady Cougars of Sullivan Central wanted to send a message that it wasn't the same team that EHS had beaten 7-0 earlier in the season.
The mission was accomplished as Central held EHS to only one goal in the first half before the Lady Cyclones turned up the intensity in the second half to take a 3-1 victory at Brown-Childress Stadium and clinched second place in the conference behind University High.
"We still haven't learned how to play a full 80 minutes of soccer yet," said Lady Cyclone coach Bill McClay. "Tonight I believe the girls learned a valuable lesson through experience that intensity and focus must be kept regardless of the opponent you are playing."
Lourean Hughes netted the only goal of the first half as she took an assist from Brie Gouge and scored at the 20-minute mark. After 40 minutes of play the scoreboard read 1-0 in favor of EHS.
Said McClay: "We came out flat, and watched the game for the first 15 minutes of the match. Central proved they are a better team than the first time we played them because at the half of that game we were up 5-0. Central was a determined team on the field tonight."
After the break, Samantha McClay found the net nine minutes into the second half on a nice assist from Ashley Green.
Central caught the Lady Cyclones off guard while EHS was busy on the offensive attack for a breakaway goal at the 59th minute of the contest to close the gap to 2-1.
With only one minute left to play, Sam McClay recorded her second score of the night to give the Lady Cyclones the final margin of victory.
"We came out expecting to win," said Coach McClay. "Yet, there is a difference between thinking you should win and thinking you will. We need to approach every game like it's a playoff game and play a full 80 minutes with intensity."
The Cyclones ran their overall record to 6-3-1 and a conference mark of 4-1-1. EHS blasted the ball toward the Central net 35 times to only one attempt for Central, with that one going in for the score.
Elizabethton will play at Chuckey-Doak Thursday at 6 p.m. and entertain Sullivan South Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Brown-Childress Stadium.