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Girls Soccer Team Loses Two

By Staff | Aug 31, 2016

Photo by Tamie Weekley The Lady Knights show promise in their match against OVAC top dog Oak Glen. In this photo, TCHS' Kara Smith is racing down the field with one goal in mind for the ball.

SISTERSVILLE – The Lady Knights battled hard against two OVAC opponents but to no avail.

Losing 7-0 to a tough Linsly squad last week on their home turf, the Cadets got off to the early lead and did not look back from there. While Tyler played hard against the Cadets, they had no answer for their sharp shooting forwards and midfielders. Tyler was not able to muster up any offense against Linsly. Autumn Wells had 15 saves in the game.

“Giving up three quick goals in the first 10 minutes put us in a bind,” Coach Ben Thomas said. “However, the girl’s played hard and never gave up. Most teams would have folded at that point, but our girls chose to play harder. Though the result is not what we wanted, our girls did show resiliency tonight. One of the highlights for me is seeing our defense come out of their shell and starting to talk.”

Playing defense for most of the evening included Kassidy Starkey, Amanda Reynolds, Demery Nelson, Kenna Smith and Ali Cooper.

“I can’t say enough about their effort,” Thomas said. “I understand that a good defense is the foundation of a strong team in any sport. As these girls get better, then our team will continue improving as well.”

Oak Glen came off a great year last year in winning the OVAC. It doesn’t look like much is going to change this year, as they are off to a great start in the 2016 season, coming into this week’s game with a 2-0 record. Last week at Oak Glen, the Silver Knights were met with great speed on the outside and consistency with passing on the inside. This proved to be too much for Tyler as they fell to the Golden Bears 8-0.

Once again, Wells played well at the keeper position with 17 saves. There were five shots on goal in the contest. Kenna Smith and Megan Vandruff each had two shots on goal and Kassidy Starkey had one shot on goal.

“Coming into this game, I knew two things,” Thomas said. “First, I knew that we have had a difficult time getting the ball up the field in the first two games of the season. And secondly, I knew that Oak Glen was a very skilled soccer team. To give us the best chance possible, I knew that we would have to make changes in our formation and try something new. That’s exactly what we did. Adding an extra midfielder in the lineup proved to be a better fit for us in gaining possession of the ball and generating some offense.”

TCHS scored high marks for effort, determination.

“As a coach, I am always telling the girls that someone needs to step up,” Thomas said. “But when you get three players in one game to step up, it makes you feel optimistic about the rest of our season and the future of the program.”

Belle Camerlin, Madison Glover, and Kara Smith showed Thomas something new in their game against Oak Glen.

“Smith helped the team possess the ball in the middle of the field, demonstrating leadership on the field, which is nice to see in a captain, while Belle and Madison played well on the outside position,” he said. “Both Belle and Madison are brand new to soccer this year, but they are making great improvements quickly. Seeing them both running through players to win the ball on several occasions is refreshing. Belle, particularly, is become quiet versatile on the soccer field, as she is playing almost the entire game every game, and is playing in almost every position in the field. Her speed on the outside makes her a threat for opposing teams, for sure.”

Back to the practice field to carve out the skills needed to score that perfect game.

“This week is a very rare week for middle of the season, as we will have five practices Monday through Friday to fix what we’re doing wrong and get healthy before we play again on Saturday against Steubenville. We need to be focused this week,” Thomas said.