TA Dugger falls in district semi-final, 2-0
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
Like a long-distance runner the T.A. Dugger Lady Junior Cyclones put on a good finishing kick but it wasn’t enough to stave off elimination in the middle school district 1A/AA semi-final. The Cyclones fell 2-nil to David Crockett Middle School on Monday evening at Citizens Bank Stadium.
TAD couldn’t string together an attack for much of the game but in the last 10 minutes made Crockett work hard to keep its slender lead intact.
In the 14th minute, eight-grader Kortney Shaffer scored by splitting two Cyclone defenders and managing to keep possession and she beat TAD goalkeeper Amelia Proffitt with a low shot for a 1-nil Lady Junior Pioneer advantage.
“We have a really young team this year,” Lady Jr. Pioneer head coach Ariel Flannigan said. “I’m very proud of the effort. They played very hard and showed that they came to play today.
“Kortney has worked hard these last two years to develop her skills and I think she is going to be a very good player in high school.”
The Pioneer’s backline was a force as they faced a good amount of pressure from the Jr. Lady Cyclones who simply couldn’t find a finishing shot.
“We were flat-footed and that’s completely on us (coaches),” Lady Cyclones head coach Eddie Morrell said. “We allowed an advantage to happen and spent the rest of the game trying to make up for that.
“If we had played the entire 60 minutes the way we played the last 10 it would have been a completely different game.”
TAD held a 3-1 advantage in shots on goal in the first half but none of those shots were potentially dangerous. Savannah Smith had a free kick from 20 yards that reached Pioneer goalkeeper Alli Orren on a bounce but there was no rebound.
Camdyn Garland had a shot on goal in the late stages of the first half but – once again – not particularly dangerous as Orren had a good look at it all the way. Isabella Lewis had a shot late in the half as well that was a low roller with not a lot of steam on it.
The second half was pretty much Crockett playing back on defense and stifling the Cyclone attack before it could formulate.
TAD’s best opportunity came on a free kick from Maddix Morton who let a high shot fly from the sideline – 20 yards out – that had plenty of steam on it but Orren was able to handle it with her fingertips but let no rebound occur.
In the 54th minute, Kendall Hodge took possession outside the penalty area and found Shaffer making a run down the middle. Her crossing pass was perfect and Shaffer drove a laser past Proffitt for a two-goal lead.
“I think we accomplished a lot this season,” Morrell said. “We had kids come out that really didn’t know the game and our goal was to help them develop a skill set and I think we were pretty successful.
“We knew we weren’t a championship level team but we came together and gained some basic skills that will carry them over to the next level.”
David Crockett MS 2-0
DCMS 1 1 – 2
TAD 0 0 – 0
DC – Shaffer (unassisted) 14:00
DC – Shaffer (assist Hodge) 54:00