Hope Kenney breaks LCHS all-time soccer scoring record

  • Lady Indians striker Hope Kenney celebrates surpassing former LCHS star Alexis Satterfield to become the all-time leading goal scorer in program history after her first of four goals versus Southeast Whitfield last week.
    Lady Indians striker Hope Kenney celebrates surpassing former LCHS star Alexis Satterfield to become the all-time leading goal scorer in program history after her first of four goals versus Southeast Whitfield last week.
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The LCHS varsity girls soccer team went 1-1 on the pitch to improve to 2-1-0 overall for the 2020 season and watched senior striker Hope Kenney make history by becoming the program’s all-time goal scorer when Lumpkin faced off with Southeast Whitfield and Buford last week.
The Lady Indians started the week with a home match at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field versus Southeast Whitfield in the team’s second match of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
In a five-minute time span 10 minutes into the match, Kenney scored three times to give the Lady Indians a 3-0 lead and to record her first hat trick of the season. The offensive explosion from the prolific Lumpkin goal scorer allowed Kenney to record her 80th, 81st and 82nd goals of her high school career, surpassing former Lumpkin County player Alexis Satterfield as the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Four minutes later, Nicole Limehouse got into the action for the Lady Indians with a goal of her own, extending Lumpkin’s lead to 4-0.
The Lady Indians added one more goal to the scoreboard before halftime when Julia Finesilver found the back of the net with eight minutes left in the first half, upping Lumpkin’s advantage to 5-0.
Kenney struck again in the opening minutes of the second half to score the 83rd goal of her high school career and to give the Lady Indians a commanding 6-0 lead.
The defensive backline of the Lady Indians did well to form a brick wall against any and all attacks that Southeast Whitfield could muster in the match. Combined with a midfield that control the tempo and possession and Lumpkin’s potent array of offensive weapons, the Lady Indians proved to be too much for Southeast Whitfield to contend with.
“Our back line has been a rock for us for many years,” said LCHS head girls soccer coach Don Brock. “It is a cliche to say, ‘Offense wins games, defense wins championships’, but it is true. I was a Forward/Attacking midfielder as a player, but often feel like my focus is the back line. Maybe because it is not my strength. As a whole, this back line is one of the smartest and most athletic groups I have had. Much of that comes from their off season work in cross country and wrestling. We are deep there and just getting deeper.”
Brock also believes that having extra weapons this season will take some pressure off of Kenney.
“We have more weapons than ever,” Brock said. “That should release some of the attention on Kenney from our opponents. Teams often focus on her and try to make her uncomfortable. If you leave Finesilver, [Rae Lynn] Meyers, Limehouse, [Ashley] Read, or [McKenzie] Tatum unaccounted for, you will pay for it. And, we have a couple of other players rising up the ranks to add to that list.”
As for Kenney’s historic achievement, Brock was not surprised that the senior became the school’s new all-time scoring leader and couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishment.
“There is little I can say about Kenney that doesn’t make her teammates and the program proud,” Brock said. “Personally, I am touched by her growth as a player. She is a born scorer. Just like Satterfield, she was born with that. No one can lay claim to training those kind of players to score. They just do it. Kenney is the most unselfish, modest striker I have ever seen. The personality of a great striker is in contrast to that. She has grown into a great player, teammate and person. I have been blessed to get to work with her and Coach McDowell at Truett will be as well.”
In the end, the Lady Indians emerged victorious by a final score of 6-0. The win improved the Lady Indians’ overall record to 2-0-0.
“It feels strange to start off so strong, but play so few games by this time,” Brock said. “At times I feel like we are still untested, but I probably feel that way often. Really proud of how they have embraced some of our new schemes and each other as a team.”
Lumpkin faced their first big test of the season when they followed up their victory over Southeast Whitfield by traveling to Buford High School to square off with the Lady Wolves on Friday, Feb. 21.
Buford gave the Lady Indians fits throughout the match, scoring three goals in each half, and proved to be too powerful for Lumpkin to overcome. In the end, the Lady Wolves dominated the match and emerged 6-0 winners against Lumpkin.
The loss marked the first of the season for the Lady Indians, dropping their overall record to 2-1-0.
Despite the loss, Brock and his team will continue to focus on improvement as they progress through the 2020 season.
“We will continue to work on adding nuances to our formations,” Brock said. “We realize that we have several teams that we have not been able to get past over the last four seasons. Our focus is clearly set on the ‘Unfinished Business’ that we have those teams. That is what the class of 2020 talked about in the offseason, and that is our focus for the season and why it is on our shirts. With the commitment that this team has to each other and the season, we will continue to grow through the season and into the future.”
At press time, the Lady Indians were set to take part in the first round of the CMC Tournament hosted by LCHS on Monday, Feb. 24. Lumpkin was scheduled to face off with Lakeview Academy in the first round mach. No official results were available.
The CMC Tournament is set to continue at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field today, Feb. 26, and will conclude on Friday, Feb. 28.
The LCHS varsity girls soccer team will battle it out with the East Hall Lady Vikings at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field in the team’s Region 7-AAA opener on Tuesday, March 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.