Lady Cyclones play UH to a draw

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

Star Photo/Ron Weaver Elizabethton's Abby Bryan pushes the ball upfield while a Lady Buccaneers chases.

Star Photo/Ron Weaver
Elizabethton’s Abby Bryan pushes the ball upfield while a Lady Buccaneers chases.

Once again, finality escaped fans of Elizabethton and University High as for the second time this season the two arch rivals played to a draw. This one a 0-0 contest played in mostly driving rain in the second half.
University High (4-0-2 Conference) can clinch the regular season title with victories over Unicoi County and Happy Valley in its last two conference matches. EHS (8-4-3 overall, 6-0-2 conference) may have to settle for second place if neither UC or HV can topple the Lady Buccaneers.
“We are plus-1 in goal differential,” said Junior Lady Bucs head coach Dan Almond. “So all we have to do to clinch is to win our last two, which I hope we are fortunate enough to do.”
The Lady Cyclones had the initiative in the first half with a 4-1 shots on goal advantage but could not get one past the UH netminder Courtney Henley. Senior Kim Henson had the first shot with a free kick from 30 yards out that she put on frame, but Henley made the save.
Then after a corner kick by Henson was cleared by the UH defense, Henson got the ball on her foot again and fired a shot to Henley’s left, but again she was up to the task of making the stop.
Terika Sadilova took advantage of a failure by EHS to clear a ball in its penalty area, but her shot was low and backup goalkeeper Linda Espino was able to go down to the ground and make the play.
Freshman Cami Davison fired a left-footed shot that was sent directly at the UH keeper, and the half ended with no score.
In the second half, the rain came, first as a trickle then a near downpour, and the Lady Bucs were able to control possession for much of the second half.
“The last part of the first half, we seemed to be doing pretty well,” Lady Cyclones head coach Bill McClay said. “The second half we couldn’t seem to find a pass. When trying to work the ball we didn’t get it to anyone, and when we did they didn’t receive it. I thought we played well. Linda is usually a center defender, and my center defender (Haley Burleson) was my center midfielder. We survived, and that’s all right because the momentum did shift.”
In the second half, Espino made two saves that were the difference as she caught and held on to a high arching shot by Sarah Luna and made a diving save on a low drive from Sarah Robinson to keep it a scoreless match.
The Lady Cyclones next play on Monday at Volunteer and come home for senior night on Thursday to end the regular season.

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