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Monday, May 2, 2016

Viqueens top Cascade in semis; Win puts Community in district title clash

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Speedsters Tori Slater (55) and Kristen Brothers (3) battle for possession late in the game. The two fought furiously for possession of the ball through most of the night.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
SPRING HILL -- It's almost as if when the calendar turns towards the district tournament, the planets align and the Cascade Lady Champions and the Community Viqueens have to face each other in order to not only secure a trip to the district championship game, but also earn a trip to the region as well.

For the second-straight year, both Cascade and Community had to face off in the semifinal round of the District 11A/AA tournament in order to earn a trip to the championship round.

"Cascade came out and played hard. Last time we played them, it was a tight game. I expected it to be a good game," said Community coach Mark Neill.

Closer matchup

During their first meeting, the Viqueens squeaked out a 1-0 win at Cascade, but coach Monica Lewis felt her senior-laden team was much more competitive in Tuesday's match.

"We played tough. In the first half, we were a little weak but it was really a great game. Our passing was a little off in the first half but we came back in the second half. If we had played like that in the first half, I think it could have been a different game," said Cascade coach Monica Lewis.

While the Viqueens held on for the 5-3 win to keep their season alive, the Lady Champs simply refused to go quietly.

The Viqueens dealt the first blow in the eight minute of the match with a goal by the Courtney Williams -Kristen Brothers tandem on the front line.

Karly Grissom (10) and Abi Armstrong (1) get a foot on a ball following a Cascade goal kick in the first half. Grissom scored two goals for the Lady Champs on Tuesday night.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
Big goal

Community didn't hold the lead for long as Karly Grissom hit the equalizing goal for the barely four minutes later for the Lady Champs.

Community scored two more times in the half off the toe of Williams and Kali Sitz.

Both Viqueens scored their goals unassisted to regain command 3-1 at the break.

Community seemingly dealt the knock out blow with a quick score from Sitz in the 43rd minute.

Cascade, however, found an extra level of tenacity and proceeded to go blow for blow with the Viqueens throughout the remainder of the second half.

Haley Edmondson answered Sitz' score and put the Lady Champs back in control of the momentum in the 46th minute.

Solid passing

"We made a couple of errors and they capitalized on them. As far as ball possession and passing, I was very proud of our girls for maintaining the ball for mostly the entire game," Neill said.

And the Viqueens utilized that solid passing to help set up their next score.

As quickly as Cascade snared the momentum, Community found another score off the toe of Taylor Thompson following a near-perfect cross from Kristen Brothers to up 5-2.

Cascade got one more score from Grissom, who bolted deep into Community territory and snuck a shot to the back of the net.

"Karly's footwork is phenomenal. Once she can get control of the ball like that, she's gone. It's a great way for her to go out her senior year," Lewis said.

Kali Sitz (4) works the ball away from Cascade's Haley Edmondson (23) and into the Lady Champion end of the field. Sitz scored the third and fourth goals for the Viqueens on Tuesday night.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
Defensive stances

As feisty as the Lady Champs proved to be, the Viqueen defense held its ground and didn't allow another score in the match.

While the Viqueens amped up the attack in the second half, the Cascade defense held strong, according to Lewis, in the second half.

"Our defense worked hard. They broke down some in the first half but in the second half they had it together," she said.

With the loss, Cascade's season comes to a close and Lewis spoke of what the senior class has meant to the team throughout their time at Cascade.

"I've coached these girls since seventh grade. I coached them when they were in U8. I've watched them grow and develop not only as soccer players, but also as young women. It's been a great privilege," she said.

Next: Page

While Cascade's season ends, Community's path leads the Viqueens on a collision course with the top-seeded Page Lady Patriots on Thursday night.

"This year, we are much more poised to compete with them. We played very competitively with them in our regular season game," Neill said.

In last season's district championship game, the Viqueens took a tough 5-2 loss on the chin. During their rematch in the regular season this year, Community held on for the better part of the match before the Lady Pats scored a late goal to pull away.

"In seasons past, they've had the upper hand on everybody. But this year, it's a different competition between us and Page. I'm looking forward to Thursday. I think we have a real shot at it this year," Neill said.

Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Summit High School on Thursday.

Cascade 1 2 -- 3

Community 3 2 -- 5

First Half

Com -- Kristen Brothers goal, Courtney Williams assist 32:01.

Cas -- Karly Grissom goal 28:30.

Com -- Williams goal 15:30.

Com -- Kali Sitz goal 12:25.

Second half

Com -- Sitz goal, Williams assist 37:00.

Cas -- Haley Edmondson goal 34:41.

Com -- Taylor Thompson goal, Brothers assist 32:00.

Cas -- Grissom goal 17:51.

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