Four for the four: Alcoa nets a goal for each departing senior
By Darren Gideon | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alcoa seniors Ashley King, Veronica Vineyard, Kayla Perez and Faith Hayes were all recognized Thursday evening prior to the start of their last regular season home game versus William Blount. The Lady Tornadoes put their head coach Shane Corley at ease after scoring three goals in the closing minutes of the first half in route to the 4-0 victory over WB.
“The first thirty minuets had me concerned,” Corley told The Daily Times. “We didn’t start well coming back from fall break. We finally started playing a little bit better soccer towards the end of the first half. Once we got a couple goals that kind of helped us settle in and start establishing our play.”
For the seniors, it marked the end of a season filled with challenge and adversity.
“It was a lot of hard work from them and they deserve it,” Corley said. “We haven’t had as much luck in the regular season as we would of liked to because we have had a really hard schedule. It is nice to see them playing hard as seniors and pushing even though their record is not that great.”
Playing the ball on the left side of the pitch, King scored from 15 yards out just out of the break giving Alcoa the final goal and the 4-nil lead with the senior’s netter in the 42nd.
“It was nice to Ashley involved like that, we keep trying to get our wing players more involved and get them in front of the goal more,” Corely said. “If you can beat that defender and get in the 18 good things will happen. That is what happened for Ashley tonight.”
Evading defenders in the middle of the pitch, Jori Rodgers sunk her second goal of the night from 25 yards out in the 39th, putting the Lady T’s up with a three-goal advantage. The freshman forward broke the ice for the Lady T’s in the 36th, placing a shot in the top right corner just out of the keeper’s reach to start a bang, bang, bang attack that let Alcoa go to the break feeling more comfortable.
“We have her for three more years and she is going to be a phenomenal player for us,” Corley said. “She works hard is learning her role. We changed things for her throughout the year to make her have to keep improving and she is going to be a great asset for three years.”
Dribbling the ball past two William Blount defenders, Vineyard gave Alcoa a 2-nil advantage driving in a shot from 20 yards out in the 37th. For Vineyard and King the goals marked their last regular season scores on what has been home field as part of the Lady T’s.
“It was awesome, I’ve been doing this for four years and to have girls behind me that will get me the ball and that I can distribute the ball to is fantastic,” Vineyard said. “I love these girls, they know how to work with each other and the coaches.”
Despite the loss, William Blount’s head coach Jim Millsaps saw promise from his players and knows brighter days are ahead for his girls.
“It was the best played game we have had all season,” Millsaps told The Daily Times. “It’s about getting over a lot of confidence issues from their past. We are starting to finally see that. Seeing games like tonight gets me excited about next season.”
The Lady Govs travel to Greenback Tuesday to conclude their regular season before the District 4-AAA tournament. Alcoa awaits the final seedings of the District 4-A/AA tournament to know its next match.