Soccer takes another step at Cascade

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Cascade Middle proved that hard work pays off as they won 4 of 5 matches last weekend to win the South Middle Tennessee Girls Soccer Small Sided School District tournament.

"The feeling of winning is just indescribable," first-year Cascade coach Monica Lewis said. "Looking back and seeing how they've played together as a team, they can set up plays, they can see plays coming to be set up, they trust their teammates enough to make the passes. So, as a team, they have worked together wonderfully and have really come along.

"No matter who was coaching them, they would have done this anyway."

Cascade Middle took home their district title with their final game of the season last Saturday. Team members are (listed, not in order) Mary Saylor, Aimee Taylor, Aubrey Craig, Raven Jones, Chelsea Allen, Chelsie Johnson, Rachel Utz, Kathleen Lohay, Sarah Elizabeth Edwards, Kenzie Tucker, Megan James, Abby Lynn, Lauren Ware, Cassie Flippo, Niki Huff, April Gathright, Cheyenne Hill, Brittany Leverette, Ashley Bledsoe, Magen Williams, Becca Rubalcaba, Carlie Mallard, Jessica Carlson, Laura Jett, Corey Green and coach Monica Lewis. (Submitted photo)

After taking down South Lincoln Middle 8-0 at Cascade on Thursday, the action moved to Manchester on Friday where the Lady Champions took down tournament host Westwood Junior High 4-1. Ashley Bledsoe netted two goals. Laura Jett and Kathleen Lohay contributed scores as well.

Later that night, Cascade defeated St.-Andrews Sewanee 3-2 in a shootout after the teams ended regulation knotted at 2-all in the winners' bracket final. Bledsoe had both goals before the shootout.

The Mountain Lions eliminated Westwood 2-1 on Saturday morning to get another chance at the Lady Champs.

Jett and Bledsoe again found the back of the nets in the rematch with St. Andrews-Sewanee but the result was the same as the evenly-matched squads again were forced to a shootout after battling to a 2-2 tie.

But, the Mountain Lions proved too much and took this pressure-packed stage 3-2 to force the 'if necessary' championship game later that afternoon.

The marathon continued as Bledsoe and Lohay tallied goals, but the talented teams carbon copied themselves into a 2-2 tie.

The top five strikers from each roster left both teams standing after each scored three times in the first shootout.

Strikers 6-10 stood forward to settle the contest. St. Andrews-Sewanee missed on their first attempt, giving Cascade a shot at the win, but the Lady Champs failed as well.

The Mountain Lions couldn't score on their second kick of the second shootout and again gave Cascade an opportunity to claim victory. Chelsea Allen stood to the line and instructed the engraver to put Cascade Middle on the name plate with the tournament-clinching goal.

Magen Williams was in goal for the victors throughout the tournament.

The Lady Champs end their season with a record of 8-3.

If Cascade didn't have a goose egg on the scoreboard this season, chances are, Ashley Bledsoe had something to do with it.

"She's always been a leader," Lewis said. "She's always been a top student. She's always been a kid that set a goal and went for it. And, she usually accomplishes whatever she goes after."

Soccer is still very young, comparatively speaking, in Wartrace. The tournament title should help its growth at Cascade.

"Three years ago, I told (Principal Terry) Looper that we had kids coming up in soccer that were awesome, and we needed to have a program ready for them," Lewis said. "I'm kind of looking it at like, 'I proved my point. This is the group I'm talking about.'

"So, when I first talked to him (after returning), he was like, 'You are right. Here they are.' I said you've got several years coming of this."