• LCHS striker Hope Kenney jukes the Clarke Central keeper before delivering a well-played pass inside the box to Emma Read for a Lumpkin goal. Kenney scored twice and recorded an assist in the Lady Indians’ 3-0 victory.

-Girls soccer shuts out Clark Central in scrimmage

The LCHS varsity girls soccer team got in its final preparations for the 2019 season when they traveled to Clarke Central High School to take on the Lady Gladiators in a scrimmage match on Friday, Feb. 1, and emerged 3-0 winners.

Lady Indian striker Hope Kenney stole the show during the scrimmage match, scoring two of Lumpkin’s three goals, on her way to helping her team earn a 3-0 victory against Clarke Central.

“Hope is a big weapon for us on offense,” said LCHS head girls soccer coach Don Brock. “Anytime she touches the ball, she is dangerous.”

Kenney didn’t take long to record the first goal of the match when she ran onto a through ball, juked the Clarke Central keeper and shot the ball into an empty net in the eighth minute of the match. Kenney’s goal gave the Lady Indians a 1-0 advantage.

For the majority of the first half the Lady Indians played a solid possession style of offense which created several scoring opportunities, but Lumpkin wouldn’t find the back of the net again until late in the half.

With just over three minutes remaining in the half, Kenney made a nice run towards the box and once again was able to maneuver around the charging Clarke Central keeper. However, instead of taking the shot, Kenney made a nice pass to Emma Read who had come streaking into the box. Read never hesitated and booted the ball in-between the posts for Lumpkin’s second goal of the match.

The Lady Indians took the 2-0 lead into the halftime break.

The Lady Indians continued to attack in the second half, but the Lady Gladiators did well to thwart Lumpkin’s early attempts at extending its lead during the opening minutes of the half.

The tenacity of the Lady Indians’ attack finally got to Clarke Central about midway through the half when the Lady Gladiators committed a foul inside the box to give the Lady Indians a penalty kick.

Ashley Read took the kick for Lumpkin. The kick was a rocket towards the lower right corner, but the Clarke Central keeper was able to make a stop and barely kept the ball from going over the line.

The Lady Indians kept pushing the attack for the remainder of the match and their hard work paid off with six and a half minutes left when Kenney blasted a shot from left to right that eked itself just inside the right post. The goal marked the second for Kenney in the match and extended the Lady Indians’ lead to 3-0.

In the end, Lumpkin emerged victorious by a final score of 3-0.

Kenney had a spectacular match, scoring two goals and recording an assist.

Kinlee Abercrombie displayed her defensive and leadership skills on the pitch for the Lady Indians in the match. Abercrombie did well to step into the shoes of many talented players before her to act as the anchor of the Lumpkin defensive backline. Abercrombie did her part to make sure the backline was communicating and ready to shut down any scoring chances for the Lady Gladiators.

Although his team won the match, Brock believes that some aspects of his players’ performance could have been better executed.

“I thought our spacing and communication was weak at times,” Brock said. “But, overall I think we played our game in the match. And, those will be things that we can get better at as the season progresses” 

Brock is optimistic about the upcoming season and believes that the goals he and his players have set for the season are within their reach.

“We have the talent to get back to the State Playoffs this season,” Brock said. “We have to get past some tough teams, but I think we are in a good position to make a solid run in our region and get back to the playoffs.”

At press time, the Lady Indians varsity soccer team was set to kick off their 2019 season with a road match versus the Union County Lady Panthers on Tuesday, Feb. 5. No official results were available.

The Lady Indians will step back on the pitch for their 2019 home opener when they host East Jackson at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field this Friday, Feb. 8. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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