EHS, Happy Valley have mixed results at Jamboree

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015

JOHNSON CITY — It was a mixed bag of results for Carter County girls soccer squads Saturday at Civitan Park in Johnson City. Elizabethton had a win, a loss and a scoreless draw, while much-improved Happy Valley suffered a shutout loss.

The Lady Cyclones opened against Jefferson County, and battled them to a scoreless draw, with goalkeeper Loran Campbell making several stops as Jeff Co. fired a lot of shots at her with none reaching net.

“I was pleased with the effort,” Lady Cyclones head coach Bill McClay said. “We got the ball forward and put a couple shots on goal. I think because we did, we lost our shape defensively a little bit. We have to understand that when we get into a game where we do get possession that we transition quickly to defense.”

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Offense was lacking against the Patriots as EHS managed just a pair of shots on goal and faced several on the other end. They were able to deflect many of these shots with a strong effort from the back line and Campbell however to preserve the draw against a strong Patriots squad.

The Lady Warriors – in just the second year of the program – faced the same Jefferson County squad and fell 4-0 to the Lady Patriots. Gracen Henry scored in the seventh minute and Teagen Boyle followed that with a goal just two minutes later.

Ashtyn Fritz added two more goals late in the 35-minute scrimmage, but HV had moments of offensive creativity as Morgan Mallasch had a pair of quality shots on goal.

“Today was leaps and bounds beyond what we have done in scrimmages so far,” commented Lady Warriors head coach Eddie Morrell. “They are starting to communicate better and seeing their lanes they need to attack. This is a single A school playing a 5A school and we played them tough and stayed aggressive.”

A few small errors on the back line enabled a pair of these goals to happen, but in time coach Morrell said, “We’ll get these type of mistakes corrected with better communication. I am extremely pleased with how Shelby Harding and my keeper Carley Tribble directed the defense.”

In the Cyclones second match they faced Tennessee High and won a defensive battle 1-0 with junior Linda Espino scoring the only goal of the match. Espino took a pass from fellow junior Haley Burleson and fired a high shot past the Lady Vikings goalkeeper with just three minutes remaining and the EHS defense did not allow another shot against them.

Then came the match that coach McClay called, “A cold dose of reality” as the Cyclones fell 3-0 to Science Hill as striker Rachel Killian had a three goal hat trick.

“Fatigue played a role,” McClay said. “They have played the equivalent of a match and a half so far today. Fitness is still an issue right now. We have maybe seven players that are in, what I call, game condition. We need to create a few more shots. The opportunity is somewhat there but they are two or three passes away from being completed to put themselves in scoring range.

“It’s a matter of getting players used to certain positions and learning how to play with each other.”

McClay had said he would use the scrimmages to move players to positions they may not be comfortable in but one player who looked right at home in a new position was Burleson who was moved from midfield to back line.

Burleson was active offensively from that spot taking several dribble attacks through the Lady Viking and Hilltoppers squads to open things up for teammates to take shots.

“We’ll see if she stays there,” McClay said. “She also knows when she intercepts the ball that it’s time to push forward. We have to find a way to maximize everyone’s talent and mesh it all together.”