Lady Rebels break through against Alcoa defense
BY Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
For over an hour Maryville pushed the pace and Alcoa held. Then the already depleted Lady T ranks cracked and Maryville stormed through with a trio of goals to take the 3-nil victory in the Six-Mile soccer series Thursday at John Sevier School.
Beneath a slowly rising harvest moon and under the tower stolen off the set of a George Lucas movie, the Lady Rebels attacked time and again in a scoreless first session. Not until Emery Spears connected off a corner set in the 64th minute did Maryville have anything on the scoreboard to reflect the pressure it applied.
“When you outshoot a team 26-2 you expect to have a little easier time but to their credit they played ferocious defense,” Maryville coach Bill Stooksbury said. “We were glad to get that first goal and it kind of opened up for us after that one.
“It would have been nice to have gotten it earlier.”
Montana LeBoeuf put in a high corner from the right side that bounced and was heading out of the box toward midfield when Spears speared it through the crowd and dented Alcoa’s shield for the first time. The insurance came in the 71st. Mariah Plieseis came down the left middle and unloaded a shot high and over the keeper’s reach for a two-goal edge.
“We’re depleted. We had a starter out sick and the injury,” Alcoa coach Shane Corely told The Daily Times as his healthy bench shrunk to numbers you could count on a thumb when Taylor Yoder went down in the 19th with an ankle injury. “The ones who played were phenomenal. We knew what kind of match we’d have to play. They were going to possess most of the match and we were going to have to defend our butts off and hope for a counter. We almost got that.”
Maryville (5-3-2) finished it off in the 73rd. Alicia Yarlett took the ball deep into the right corner before turning it on a high cross. Preston Robinette was stalking the left edge of the goal and delivered the header for the third goal to cries of “She’s just a freshman,” from the Maryville student section.
That group was warned twice by the officiating crew as things got a little too chippy as the match reached the hour mark and things settled after Maryville defender Natalia Cvitkovic went down on a collision in the boisterous corner and time was called.
The early match was a count of Maryville shots wide, high and smothered by Alcoa keeper Ashley Bearden.
“The pressure was on them when we got to 0-0 at half. We just ran out of legs that’s all there was to it,” Corely said. “These girls in the back, you just couldn’t ask for more.”
Maryville’s later runs were more deliberate and measured, pushing one way then the other trying to create space and openings against the Lady Ts (in contrast to pushing rebounds and attempting to cross the sides in one long and easily frustrated pass.
“We talked to them at half about making shorter passes and not trying to play the long ball into the teeth of their defense. They had a good scheme for us,” Stooksbury said. “I think our attack had them on the heals and that prevented a lot of their offensive surge but our defense is pretty solid. We’re happy with the shutout — it’s what we aim for every game.”
Alcoa’s most promising try came in the 44th as a foul on the left edge of the pitch in front of the crowd side. The shot cleared the wall of Lady Rebel defenders but ended in the arms of the keeper.
Alcoa will attempt to rest before a match in Johnson City with Science Hill to open this weekend’s tournament in the Tri-Cities. Maryville returns to action Sunday with a make-up game at Knox West of a match that was rained out last week.
“It’s going to be a good one, 3 p.m. if folks want to watch soccer instead of pro football on Sunday,” said Stooksbury.