-Lady Indians batter Banks to improve to 3-1
The LCHS varsity girls soccer team improved to 3-1 on the season after falling to Forsyth Central before battering Banks County on the pitch last week.
The Lady Indians began the week with a home non-conference match versus the Lady Bulldogs of Forsyth Central on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field.
LCHS head girls soccer coach Don Brock knew that the 5-7A club would be a challenge for his players, and was excited to see how well his team would compete against the Lady Bulldogs.
“They’re a pretty good team,” said Brock. “I just want to see how we handle them and what we can do.”
The Lady Indians struck first in the match after 35 minutes of back-and-forth action between the two squads.
With 5:08 remaining in the first half of play, Emma Read blasted a shot from right to left that bounced off of a Forsyth Central defender in the box. LCHS striker Hope Kenney wrangled the loose ball in and fired a put back shot that beat the Lady Bulldog’s keeper and gave Lumpkin a 1-0 lead.
However, Forsyth Central quickly answered back when they got a breakaway less than 40 seconds later which ended in a Lady Bulldogs’ goal. LCHS keeper Charlotte Cunningham had no chance to get to the powerful shot which came left to right in front of the box and curled inside the right post just past Cunningham’s outstretched arms.
The Forsyth Central goal allowed the two teams to walk into the locker rooms at halftime with the score evened up at 1-1.
The Lady Indians came out aggressively attacking Forsyth Central’s half of the pitch, but it would be the Lady Bulldogs who scored first in the second half.
In the 50th minute of the match, a Lady Bulldogs striker launched a blistering shot on a counterattack which curled its way in-between the posts to give Forsyth Central a 2-1 advantage.
The Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to 3-1 midway through the second half with a rocket shot from the left side of the box. The Forsyth Central goal gave the Lady Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.
Despite a couple more offensive runs by the Lady Indians, the match would end by the final score of 3-1. The loss marked the first of the season for the Lady Indians.
Brock felt his players did well to keep pace with the Lady Bulldogs in the match and believes that the experience of playing a high caliber team will be beneficial as the season progresses.
“I don’t think we played poorly,” Brock said. “We did a lot of things right and had several opportunities to score in the match. I just felt like we ran out of steam in the late going. The game showed me that we were able to step up and compete with a solid team while missing a key player in Kinlee Abercrombie. Cassidy Fuller, Sierra Gerrells and Kelly Cronan stepped up in a huge way to lock down the center of our back line.”
The 3-1 defeat dropped the Lady Indians’ overall record to 2-1.
The squad looked to bounce back from the Forsyth Central loss when it hosted the Banks County Lady Leopards at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field on Friday, Feb. 15.
After battling it out with the Lady Bulldogs earlier in the week, Banks County proved to be no match against the Lady Indians in the match.
Lumpkin scored 10 goals in the match to improve its overall record to 3-1 with a 10-0 goal-rule shortened match.
Read got the Lady Indians on the scoreboard first with a one-on-one goal versus the Banks County keeper. Kenney followed with a solo goal of her own to extend Lumpkin’s lead to 2-0.
Read’s little sister Ashley Read, who has been playing lights out in the central midfield position for the Lady Indians so far this season, got into the action with Lumpkin’s this goal of the match. Ashley Read added two assists, one to Kenney and one to Emily Lunn, to give the Lady Indians a 5-0 advantage over the Lady Leopards.
Kenney scored her third goal of the match, completing a hat trick, to up Lumpkin’s lead to 6-0.
Freshman Reagan Spivey followed with her first goal of the match to make it 7-0.
Ashley Read booted in her second goal of the match off a nice assist by Kenney and Spivey connected on a penalty kick to give the Lady Indians a 9-0 halftime lead.
Cunningham came out of goal in the second half and scored the game winner early in the second half to allow Lumpkin to secure a 10-0 goal-rule shortened victory.
“The team played well versus Banks,” Brock said. “However, I felt that our ball movement was a bit slower that the Central match. I think that had more to do with how Banks and Central defended.”
Brock has been pleased with how his team is performing on the pitch to begin the season, especially given that the squad lost a ton of talent to graduation last season.
“I have been surprised by the number of players that have stepped up this season,” Brock said. “Many have been able to take bigger roles on the varsity team. I believe that much of this is due to off season work in the weight room. Coach Nguyen has done a great job there. My players have really put in the work in the weight room and they deserve credit for making this, physically, the strongest team I have ever coached. I feel this team has generally always been smart enough to know what the coaching staff wants, but just not strong enough to always do it under pressure.”
The Lady Indians will look to continue to improve on the pitch after Winter Break when they square off with Lakeview Academy at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field on Monday, Feb. 25. Kick off is scheduled for 5 p.m.