Lady Tornadoes advance past Stone Memorial
By Gabriel Garcia | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Alcoa Lady Tornadoes certainly would’ve liked to — and probably should’ve — scored more goals.
But holding on for a 2-1 win over Stone Memorial in the opening round of the District 4-A/AA soccer tournament Monday at the Alcoa Elementary field still ensures that the Lady Tornadoes will play at least one more match this season.
Alcoa had 10 shots on goal to the Lady Panthers’ three and kept the action largely on the Stone Memorial side of the field all game.
“I wish we could get another goal or two every match, and the possession, we dominated on their side of the field, but we can’t get enough goals to make it more comfortable,” said Lady Tornadoes coach Shane Corely.
Still, the win when it counts the most was a welcome result, particularly a mere 11 days after Alcoa lost to the Lady Panthers 3-0. But Stone Memorial coach Michael Husbands noted that neither team was quite the same in the rematch.
“They had a lot more of an intense game today,” Husbands said of Alcoa. “They worked much harder than when we played them before.
“It was a new team we faced with Alcoa.”
And so, too, were the Lady Panthers, who were missing six players — including three starters — due to fall break.
“There’s no excuses on this team. We had to change up our lineup a little bit,” Husbands said. “New players playing new positions kind of made their heads spin.”
Still, the Lady Panthers did all they could to stay in the game after Kendra Deck’s breakaway goal on overcommitting Alcoa goalkeeper Kyndal Dossett cut into the Lady Tornadoes’ 2-0 lead with about 11 minutes to go in the first half. And with 2:30 left in the game, Deck, on another counterattack, just overshot the Lady Tornadoes’ goal, missing an opportunity to tie.
The Lady Tornadoes, for their part, kept the pressure on Stone Memorial offensively enough in the final minutes to close out the match.
“That’s the weakness in what we’re trying to do right now,” Corely said. “About three or four weeks ago, we changed how we’re defending, and trying to be a little more aggressive and press up, so where we’re vulnerable is when the ball goes behind us and we have a one-on-one back here.
“We gave up one the first half, but we did a good job containing her (Deck) after that.”
Alcoa’s first goal came with 19 minutes left in the first half with Veronica Vineyard’s second-chance boot after Lady Panthers goalkeeper Devin Hinch’s initial deflection. About six minutes later, Julia Webster sailed a perfectly placed 25-yard free kick just off Hinch’s fingertips for the Lady Tornadoes’ second goal.
The Lady Tornadoes awaited news of their next opponent, the winner of the game between CAK and Rockwood, Monday night. Alcoa will either host Rockwood or travel to CAK today for the semifinal round.