Kenney propels girls soccer to 2-0 region start
LCHS striker Hope Kenney put on an offensive performance of epic proportions on the pitch last week to help the Lady Indians jump out to a 2-0 record in Region 7-AAA play when the LCHS varsity girls soccer team defeated Fannin County and North Hall last week.
The junior forward proved to be an offensive juggernaut in the Lady Indians’ first two conference matches of the 2019 season, scoring nine goals and recording three assists in Lumpkin’s victories over the Lady Rebels and the Lady Trojans.
“I mean, what do you say?” said LCHS head girls soccer coach Don Brock. “Hope [Kenney] is playing like a beast out there. She might be one of the best finishers in the region. The scary part is I don’t think we’ve seen her best yet. I just feel blessed that I’ll get to have her on the team for another season.”
The Lady Indians got their Region 7-AAA schedule underway when they hosted the Fannin County Lady Rebels at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field on Tuesday, March 12.
Kenney quickly put the Lady Indians up by scoring three unanswered goals to start the match, completing a first half hat trick. Kenney’s first goal came off a nice pass from Adrienne Hilchie, who was making a run down the sideline. Kenney wrangled in the pass and booted it past the Lady Rebels’ keeper to put Lumpkin ahead 1-0. Kenney struck again when she rocketed in a shot after the Lady Indians were awarded a penalty kick, giving her team a 2-0 advantage. Not long after connecting on the penalty kick, Kenney completed the hat trick with her third goal of the match by beating the Fannin County keeper one-on-one.
Kenney’s teammates got into the action after the 3-0 start to the match. Sisters Ashley Read and Emma Read hooked up for the Lady Indians’ fourth goal of the match. Midfielder Ashley Read delivered a perfectly placed pass to her sister Emma Read, who let loose a powerful kick which gave Lumpkin a 4-0 lead.
Kenney extended the lead to 5-0 with a solo goal, marking her fourth of the match. Kenney then turned around and assisted Emma Read’s second goal of the match to up the lead to 6-0.
The Lady Indians would score four more goals to earn a 10-0 mercy rule shortened match. Kenney found the net twice more to finish the match with six goals. The junior also recorded her second assist of the match when she hooked up with freshman Reagan Spivey for the Lady Indians’ eighth goal of the match.
Emma Read finished the match with two goals, Hilchie finished the match with two assists, Ashley Read recorded and assist and Gracie Luesing finished the match with a goal.
The win allowed the Lady Indians to jump out to a 1-0 start in Region 7-AAA play and improved their overall record to 6-2.
The Lady Indians hoped to duplicate their dominance on the pitch when they hosted region rival North Hall at the Burial Grounds on Friday, March 15.
Ashley Read got things started for Lumpkin when she ripped a powerful shot in the sixth minute of the match from the top of the box that the Lady Trojans’ keeper had no chance of stopping. The laser beam shot found the back of the net and put the Lady Indians up 1-0.
Minutes later, Kenney extended the lead to 2-0 when she was able to wrangle in a loose ball after the Lady Trojans’ keeper had blocked an initial Lumpkin shot on goal. Kenney cooly dribbled around the keeper, who was still on the ground from her dive, and placed the ball in between the posts.
Kenney got her head to a ball crossed into the box by Olivia Gilleland less than a minute later to extend the Lady Indians’ lead to 3-0.
Lumpkin received one more goal in the first half to take a 4-0 advantage into the halftime break. The fourth goal came when Makenzie Caldwell sent a through ball into the box that found the feet of Kelley Cronan. Cronan blasted a rocket shot past the diving North Hall keeper to give Lumpkin a sizable halftime lead.
North Hall scored its only goal of the match in the opening minutes of the second half. The Lady Trojans were awarded a penalty kick in the fifth minute of the second half when Lumpkin was called for a hand ball. LCHS keeper Rosa Lopez guessed the right direction, but was unable to keep the ball out of the net. The penalty kick cut the Lady Indians’ lead to 4-1.
The rest of the match mirrored the dominance that Lumpkin had displayed in the first half, as the Lady Indians tacked another three goals on the scoreboard to emerge victorious by a final score of 7-1.
Ashley Read score off a cross from Kenney, Luesing booted a shot off a North Hall defender and into the net for a goal and Kenney completed a hat trick to close out the match.
It concluded a sensational week for Kenney and the Lady Indians and improved the team’s overall record to 7-2 and its region record to 2-0.
Despite the dominance his players showed during the two match stretch, Brock is still concerned that there is still work to be done if the team is to earn wins against some of the tougher competition in Region 7-AAA.
“We played faster and better than we did the week before,” Brock said. “But, we’ll have to play faster when we go up against GAC and Dawson.”
Regardless of his concerns, Brock was pleased with the 2-0 start to region play.
“We play in a tough region, so to start off 2-0 against region opponents is a confidence boost for the team,” Brock said. “I am proud of the way we played this week and the way in which some of our younger players stepped up when called on.”
At press time, the LCHS varsity girls soccer team was set to travel to Greater Atlanta Christian to square off with the Lady Spartans in a conference match on Tuesday, March 19. No official results were available.
The Lady Indians will get back on the pitch when they travel to Cherokee Bluff to battle it out with the Lady Bears in a Region 7-AAA matchup this Friday, March 22. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.