By WILL CARTER - Sports Writer
BELL BUCKLE — After two quick goals from the Community Viqueens in the first six minutes, the Cascade Lady Champions scored three first half goals to secure the lead and a 3-2 victory in the Battle of Bedford.
“I could not be more proud of them,” Lady Champions coach Wendy Williams said. “We’ve faced some adversity recently with some injuries, and some are having to play through injuries. They went out there and gave 110%, and it showed.”
The Viqueens wasted no time putting their first goal in the net as sophomore Alisha Hartsfield streaked down the left side to find an opening for a goal at the four minute mark of the first half.
Just two minutes later Hartsfield pushed the ball up the left side for another shot that bounced off the right goalpost, and senior Zoey Dixon finished the goal for a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, Hartsfield was injured on the play and was unable to return to play.
“We got some good shots off and pushed the ball,” Viqueens head coach Chris Brothers said.
“Of course we lost our fastest wing in the first half, so that hurt. We just couldn’t get the ball to go in after that, and sometimes that’s how it is.”
Even with the 2-0 deficit, the Lady Champions showed some fight in the first half by finding their goalscorers in open field to give themselves scoring opportunities.
The first Cascade goal came in the 18th minute when junior Eve Speirs smashed the ball into the net from the left side to cut their deficit to 2-1.
Ten minutes later, freshman Ella McGeary worked the left side to find a goal for herself and a 2-2 tie for the Lady Champions.
Three minutes later, Speirs found the back of the net once more for her second goal of the game to give Cascade a 3-2 lead.
Neither team was able to score a goal for the rest of the contest.
Community controlled the possession for the majority of the second half, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net as Cascade’s goalie, Sophie Ray, was able to clean up every shot sent her way.
In total, the Lady Champions saved 30 shots against the Viqueens.
With less than five minutes left in the second half, Community had one final attempt at tying the game when sophomore Stevie Dickinson found some open space down the right side and took her shot, but the ball bounced off the crossbar and into Cascade’s possession.
“We had more shots than them, but they hit good shots when they had them,” Brothers said.
“I felt like we controlled the tempo, but we didn’t score and they did. Hats off to them for hitting some good shots. It just wasn’t our night, but we’ll get them next time.”
With a win over a top competitor in the district, Williams and the Lady Champions are hoping to build off their momentum as the season nears its end.
“It’s a big deal for morale and our school,” Williams said. “I hope that we’re going to use this as fire moving forward. We have tough games ahead of us, so we can’t overlook anybody.”
Cascade 3 0 – 3
Community 2 0 – 2
Cascade – Ella McGeary (27th minute), Eve Speirs (18th minute, 29th minute).
Community – Alisha Hartsfield (4th minute), Zoey Dixon (6th minute).
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