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Quick-strike Lady Cougars shut out Falcons

JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • Sep 25, 2019 at 2:08 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Confidence breeds confidence, and that’s something Sullivan Central coach Emily Robinette can see in her ever-improving girls soccer team.

Robinette said as much at Bernie Webb Field on Tuesday when Central claimed a 3-0 District 1-AA win over visiting Volunteer.

“We still have a young team, but we’re getting more and more confidence in ourselves,” Robinette said. “We don’t have any seniors, yet I feel like our juniors are really coming across with the leadership we need.”

FIRST-HALF BLITZ

The Lady Cougars (7-5, 2-1) scored twice in a two-minute stretch midway through the first half to gain a sudden 2-0 advantage.

The first goal came in the 12th minute when sophomore Baily Meade poked in a beautiful cross pass off the left flank from left-footed Emme Fox.

“Yes, that was (a beautiful cross),” Robinette said. “Today was her first day back from being out three weeks with an ankle injury.”

The second goal came with 26:40 on the clock, with aggressive Lauren Hensley taking possession from a fumbling Lady Falcons defender and punching the ball home.

“Lauren, she’s a freshman but she can do that,” Robinette said. “She’s just now getting the confidence she needs on offense.”

Central gained its 3-0 lead with 2:40 left in the half on a goal from the right wing by junior Rylie Patrick, assisted by Noemi Morales.

“That was a very nice little pass right there,” said Robinette, who received shutout goalkeeping from junior Kylie Harrison.

DISAPPOINTING OUTCOME

Coach Jeff Lukens was hopeful for a better outing by his Lady Falcons (5-6, 1-3).

“It takes a halftime yelling and screaming tirade, and then they come out and play 0-0 ball in the second half,” the third-year Volunteer coach said. “But there was just zero intensity in warmups, zero intensity in the first half.

“But we’ve done good. We’ve got cheerleaders and basketball players and track stars that we’re trying to make soccer players. They’ve come a long ways and had some nice wins along the way.”

Lukens received a nice effort in goal from junior Erin Smallwood, who held up respectably against the steady offensive attack of the Lady Cougars.

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