Happy Valley soccer drops game to EHS

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2015

By Allen LaMountain


Senior Lexi Williams and junior Haley Burleson each scored a hat trick as Elizabethton defeated Happy Valley 10-1 Tuesday evening at Happy Valley Elementary in girls soccer.

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“It feels pretty good,” Williams said. “We could have played a little better. We didn’t really move side-to-side, we just went at the goal. You won’t win a lot of games like that.

“It was a lot better in the second half. Coach talked to us at halftime, and we settled down and played the game.”

The Lady Warriors’ second-year program under head coach Eddie Morrell fell behind in this one by a 3-nil halftime score, and when starting goalkeeper Carley Tribble had to come out of the game with an injury, things went south in a hurry.

“Injuries hurt, especially with a young team,” Morrell said. “You come to depend on your position players, and injuries hurt. But I couldn’t be more proud of the way they stayed composed and how they conductedtl themselves on the field.”

The Lady Cyclones (2-1 overall, 1-0 conference) took the lead in the fourth minute when Burleson sent a left-footed blast past Tribble from inside the box. Burleson found the upper right corner of the net and gave the Cyclones a 1-0 advantage.

The Cyclones made it 2-0 when Caitlyn Gardner took possession near midfield and passed to her left to Burleson. Burleson sent a pass inside that found Abby Bryan, who deflected a pass to Gardner.

Gardner finished with a shot the beat HV goalkeeper Carley Tribble to her left for a two-goal EHS lead. The next Cyclone goal came just three minutes later when Burleson struck again with an assist from Williams.

In the first half, EHS outshot Happy Valley just 5-1, but the Warriors’ shot was a dangerous one by Shelby Harding that EHS goalkeeper Kaitlyn Puckett made a nice save on, going to the ground and not allowing a rebound.

In the second half, HV got another shot on goal from Harding in the early going, as the game settled into a defensive stance with neither team controlling possession for any length of time. Garner broke that up with a breakaway from Tribble’s right as she dribbled forward from the sideline and made a move inside to get herself into the penalty areafrom where she scored on a right footed low shot.

Williams first goal of the contest came in the 54th minute and was a niceshot at point blank range as she took advantage of a loose ball off acorner kick and knocked in the rebound for a 5-goal EHS lead.

The Warriors got on the board in the 63rd minute as Harding knocked in a rebound past Puckett who re-injured an ankle and had to leave the game on the play. Puckett had stopped a shot, but the deflected ball stayed in the penalty area and Harding pounced on it.

“We didn’t drop back very well, and that’s how they scored,” Williams said.

After the Warriors’ goal, EHS scored five goals in a nine-minute span after Tribble’s exit. Burleson recorded her hat trick in the 65rd minute, and Cortlyn Holdren added another in the 66th minute of play.

Williams then scored back-to-back goals in the 68th and 70thminute for her hat trick, and the Warriors had an own goal in the final stretch of the contest.

“The dimensionson this field are smaller – it’s only 100 by 50 – so there is less room,” EHS head coach Bill McClay explained. “We didn’t cross very well, we played more perpendicular. I wasn’t too pleasedwith a lot of the way we possessed the ball. It just seemed to beslow, but that being said, it did improve in the second half. We gota good goal off a corner kick deflection from Lexi, I just wish ourintensity had been a little bit higher.”