Lady Cyclone soccer team earns region final, sectional berth

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones took a long bus ride to Claiborne County on Tuesday with an opportunity to gain a region final in soccer against Greeneville and more importantly guaranteed themselves a sectional berth on Saturday.

And while Claiborne was the champion of their district, the Lady Cyclones didn’t let that phase them as Elizabethton took a 3-1 first-half advantage and held on to win the region semifinal by the same score to earn a region final against the Greeneville Lady Green Devils on Thursday,

Kaiya Simmons got the Lady Cyclones rolling seven minutes into the first half as she took an assist from Maddie O’Quinn to give her team the early 1-0.

Claiborne took advantage of a pair of Lady Cyclones mistakes which allowed Claiborne to find the opening and knot the score at 1-1 midway through the first half.

The Lady Cyclones settled after that and Maddie O’Quinn took a pass from Dana Holsclaw from about 25 yards and launched a solid shot on the upper part of the goal to score the go-ahead goal giving ‘Betsy the 2-1 lead.

Late in the half, Maddie O’Quinn once again footed a loose ball from almost the same distance as her first goal and put the kick on mark to extend the lead to 3-1 Lady Cyclones and the score held until intermission.

After making adjustments during the break, the Lady Cyclones seemed to have Claiborne’s number as they held steady to take the 3-1 victory.

“I can see how they score goals because they don’t hesitate to get the ball forward,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Bill McClay. “In the second half, we played a little deeper and got more consistent pressure.

“We missed a couple of opportunities. The girls pushed the ball deep and I believe they took the shot a little too soon. We seemed a little tired in the second half and that could have been the long bus ride.”

Depending on how the Lady Cyclones game goes against Greeneville will determine the sectional opponent which could be either Seymour or Gibbs.

But first, the Lady Greene Devils stand in the way and the last time the two met, Greeneville had their way with the Lady Cyclones.

“They beat up on us pretty good even though we got to the second half. We will see what we can do,” McClay said.

The sectional return will mark the first time since 2014 when the Lady Cyclones were defeated by Knoxville Catholic 3-0.