Lady Warriors stay alive in conference play against Unicoi

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Happy Valley Lady Warrior soccer team kept their season alive Monday evening as they defeated the Unicoi High School Lady Blue Devils 5-2 in a conference play-in match.
“That was our primary focus— we just wanted to live another day,” Happy Valley head coach Eddie Morrell said after Monday’s match.
The Lady Devils quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first few minutes of the first half. The Lady Warriors, however, didn’t let that slow them down as senior Shelby Hardings popped in a shot at the four minute mark to close the gap to one goal.
With 15 minutes left in the first period, Happy Valley’s Lillie Runningcrane fired in a deep penalty kick to tie things up at two.
With the game knotted up going into halftime, the Lady Warriors regrouped and came back ready to compete in a close game.
“At halftime, coach just told us we have to be a half a step faster,” Hardings said. “He was like, ‘They are playing aggressive, so you have to play aggressive.’ And that is what we did.”
In the second half, the Lady Warriors held the Devils scoreless as they racked up three more goals, the first of which came from Morgan Mallasch. At the 48 minute mark, Happy Valley’s Carissa Bailey kicked in a goal to put her team ahead 4-2.
The last goal of the match came in extra time, with Mallasch booting in one from close range.
With the win, the Lady Warriors advance into the first round of the District 1-AA Tournament, where they will face off with University High at the Civitan Park in Johnson City this evening.
“UH is the No. 1 team in the conference, so we will have our work cut out for us,” Hardings said. “We have played against them before, so we are not going to give it to them. We are going to make them work for it.”

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