soccer

Front Row L-R: Celia Powell, Jane Marie Franks, Autumn Harrison, Cadence Powell, Kayonna Russell, Macayla Pollard. Back Row L-R: Tiffany Winger, Zoe Murrey, Savannah Kriner, Katie Hargrove, Abby Pearson, Jazmyn Hall, Lillie Runions, Brylee Harris, Katelyn Swearengin.

   Fall is girls’ soccer season in Wayne County! This year, for the first time, the team includes girls from all three county high schools. There are five seniors: Katie Hargrove, Brylee Harris, Abby Pearson, Kayonna Russell, and Tiffany Winger. The three juniors are Autumn Harrison, Zoe Murrey, and Macayla Pollard. There are four sophomores: Savannah Kriner, Lillie Runions, Katelyn Swearengin, and Cadence Thompson. The four new freshmen are Jane Marie Franks, Jazmyn Hall, Celia Powell, and Kyla Overton. 

   The team, under the supervision of Coach Harvey Baker, has been practicing all summer to prepare for the 2019 season. As part of the preparation, they participated in a 7v7 tournament in mid-July in Columbia, and then had a camp with Tracy Hoza, a coach for the women’s soccer team at Austin Peay and former Irish National Team player. Then came three preseason scrimmages, with Lawrence County, Columbia Academy, and Loretto.

   Finally it was time for the real games to begin; the girls traveled to Selmer on August 20th to play McNairy Central. McNairy dominated the beginning of the game, passing well and attacking the Wayne County goal. They scored goals at 16 and 28 minutes, before senior sweeper/striker Brylee Harris broke thru the McNairy defense to score. McNairy added a goal late in the first half to make the half-time score 3-1 McNairy. The second half was similarly unbalanced, as McNairy scored 2 more goals midway thru the half. Final score was 5-1 McNairy. Wayne County played without their starting goalie, Abby Pearson, who was recovering from a mild concussion suffered in the Loretto scrimmage. Backup goalie Tiffany Winger made 10 saves in the game.

   On Thursday, August 22nd, the girls hosted Waverly Central at the Waynesboro Sportsplex. Again the balance of play favored the opponents. Most of the play in the first half was in the Wayne County end, but Waverly only managed to score one goal by half-time. The second half was not as good for the local team, as Waverly scored 2 goals early in the second half. Freshman striker Celia Powell scored at the 57 minute mark to bring the game a bit closer, but Waverly added 2 more goals soon after to put the game out of reach. Final score was 5-1 Waverly Central. Tiffany Winger and Zoe Murray each played half a game in the goal for Wayne County.

   On Tuesday, August 27th, Wayne County hosted Loretto for their first district game. Loretto scored 2 early goals before the 10 minute mark. Then at 14 minutes, Brylee Harris broke thru the Loretto defense and shot at the goalie coming out of the Loretto goal. The goalie only managed to slow down the ball, which rolled slowly past her. Celia was crashing the goal to the left of Brylee; she got to the ball first and poked it in. Loretto added a goal late in the half to lead 3-1 at halftime. The second half was more balanced, as Wayne County’s defense tightened up, and its offense started generating opportunities. Loretto got no open shots in the half, and Wayne County got multiple fast breaks. Unfortunately, their shots either missed the corner of the goal by inches, or were right at the goalie. At the end of the second half, the half-time score remained, and Loretto had won 3-1. The good news for Wayne County was that the second half showed that they could play even up with one of the ranked Single A teams in the state. Abby was back in the goal, and registered 17 saves for the game. 

   On Thursday, August 29th, the Wayne County girls made the long drive to McEwen. With 9 minutes gone, McEwen got a corner kick, and put the ball high in the air in front of the goal. The ball slipped thru Abby’s hands and into the goal to give McEwen the lead. Fortunately, the lead only lasted 3 minutes, as Celia capitalized on the McEwen goalie’s fumbling the ball to slip the ball into the goal. With only a few minutes left in the half, Tiffany got a ball on the right side of the McEwen goal, and shot a low shot into the back corner of the goal. Half-time score was 2-1 Wayne County. Wayne County dominated the second half, generating several good scoring opportunities while holding McEwen at bay. However, neither team managed to score, with the game ending 2-1 Wayne County. Abby had an easier game in the goal, making only 5 saves, all in the second half. 

   The team traveled to Zion Christian Academy yesterday, and go to Adamsville tomorrow for a 6:00 PM game, their second district game of the season. On Monday, September 9th they host Scotts Hill, then go to Lawrence County the following Thursday. Come out and support the Wayne County girls’ soccer team!-------------------Submitted

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