EHS girls ground Lady Falcons 8-1
Published 8:46 am Tuesday, September 8, 2015
On Labor Day, we celebrate the working man. And on Monday at Citizens Bank Stadium, the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones’ offense proved it by going to work against Volunteer in girls’ soccer.
The Cyclones poured it on in an 8-1 victory with junior forward Haley Burleson scoring a five-goal hat trick for the biggest scoring output in her prep career.
The Cyclones had come off a weekend in the Science Hill tournament at Kermit Tipton Stadium, and when asked how playing there helped acclimate the team to the new turf at Citizens Bank Stadium, Burleson said, “I think it helped a lot. Down there at Science Hill, the ball rolls a lot faster, so when we got down here to our field, it was a lot more comfortable.”
Burleson scored in the 19th minute of the first half after taking a pass across the midfield stripe from sophomore Abby Bryan.
She dribbled in on Falcons goalkeeper Cassidy Campbell and fired low and to her right and struck net to give EHS a one-goal lead. She struck again in the 31st minute, this time off a feed from junior Linda Espino to make it a 2-0 lead for the Cyclones.
In the final minute before halftime, the Falcons were whistled for a foul in the penalty area when Bella White was taken down and the Cyclones were awarded a penalty kick. Espino cashed that in for a 3-0 EHS halftime advantage.
EHS owned a 9-1 shots-on-goal advantage over Volunteer at the break and opened the second half with a flurry as Burleson got her hat trick goal in the 43rd minute on an unassisted goal. Just four minutes later, she nudged in a high-arching shot from Kim Henson past new Falcons goalkeeper Sam Bennett for a 5-0 EHS lead.
“We did all right,” Lady Cyclones head coach Bill McClay said. “We could have used a little more width, especially on our left side. I felt that we went after balls well. The weather cooperated with the sun going in behind the clouds. It was really hot when we came on the field, but the sun went in and we didn’t have to take water breaks.”
On the goal, Henson booted a shot from the near corner that Bennett had to reach way over her head as she was backing up to track the shot. She just got her fingertips on it and it bounced right to the toe of Burleson, who nudged it home.
Burleson scored for the fifth time in the 55th minute with an assist from Espino as EHS took a 6-0 lead and had still surrendered just one shot at Cyclones goalkeeper Loran Campbell.
Espino scored her second goal of the contest in the 57th minute with an assist from Cortlyn Holdren for a seven-goal lead, but Volunteer had one last surge in them.
Amber Potter got behind the EHS back line on a pass from Jaden Greene, and she was able to get to Campbell in the penalty area and fired a shot past her in the 63rd minute of play.
“We’re still a work in progress,” McClay said. “They are young, and we tried a few new things in the second half. Our defending back line is new. Haley scored a career high today. Linda scored, and she is not afraid to take a shot, and Cortlyn’s shot at the end was great. That was about as hard as I have seen her strike a ball.
“So, we had some good shots and we’ll see how it plays out against UH tomorrow. Hopefully it will pay off and we defend well and make the most of our chances.”
Holdren scored the final goal of the match in the 78th minute on a right-footed blast that beat reinserted goalie Cassidy Campbell.