As regular-season play winds down and sectional tournaments begin, things begin to get clearer in the race for division titles in sports throughougt the region. Lynchburg-Clay may have alreaday wrapped up the Southern Hills Athletic Conference girls’ soccer title, but there was still some jockeying for position to be done.
The jockeying began at Eastern Brown High School where the Lady Warriors squared off against the North Adams Lady Devils on Senior Night. The Lady Devils had entered play winners of 12 straight games and 13-1-1 overall. The team had not lost or tied a match since August.
Neither team could tally a goal in the first half, although Eastern Brown had a few chances. Senior Kayla Tomlin had a shot go over the net, one of several shots by the Lady Warriors that were just off-target. Eastern Brown also had a shot at a goal broken up when North Adams goalkeeper Madee Shipley slid and blocked a cross that would have given the Lady Warriors a good attempt at a goal.
Finally, with 13:25 left in the game, Tomlin broke through the Lady Devils defense and tallied a goal for the Warriors, flicking the ball into the top of the net, just out of Shipley’s reach. The Warriors struck again two minutes later, this time Allie Blank struck for the goal. Tomlin added another goal later in the match, giving Eastern their final score in their 3-0 win.
Head coach Amanda Hauck said she was happy with how the team played, given the circumstances.
“It’s hard to get kids focused on Senior Night, they realize this is it and this is their last home game,” Hauck said. “It wasn’t just Senior Night, we were also playing for second place in the league. Had we tied, we would’ve dropped to third and had we lost we would have dropped to fourth so it’s exciting that the girls stepped up and did what needed to be done.”
Hauck also credited Tomlin, noting she has been an offensive threat for the team throughout the season.
“Tomlin has been stepping up all year long,” Hauck said. “Most games she’ll have a hat-trick, sometimes she’ll get two. The Ripley game when we only had one goal, she scored it. Molly Prine in the goal had a solid effort. No clean hands and some of those balls might fall.”
It takes more than one player to win a game, however, and there were a bunch of Lady Warriors who stepped up to help the team get the victory.
“I had a couple sophomores playing hurt and it might not have been pretty but they got the job done,” Hauck said. “Jaycee Dufrane and Madison Hopkins have been solid starting defensively for us. Allie Blank, she’s been struggling trying to get goals but she stepped up and got a beautiful shot. Jamie Hoover as a freshman kept her composure when things got rough out there and the two goals don’t happen if Delaney Walsh doesn’t pass the ball.”
The Lady Warriors return to action in the sectional tournament Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. against Northwest, a team North Adams beat 9-0 earlier this week.