GRAFTON—The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Lady Knights soccer team has been hit hard with game cancelations due to COVID-19 coupled with the lack of referees, but finally, after three long weeks, the team was able to get back out on the turf.
In their first contest after the unwanted break, the Lady Knights celebrated their eighth-grade members, Anna Poling, Meghan Henline, Autumn Newman Leah Knotts, Madalyn Haddix and Miley Singleton, against West Fairmont prior to the start of the game.
And it would be eighth grader Haddix getting things started for TCMS. Within the first few minutes of play, she earned the first goal of the night, giving the Lady Knights an early 1-0 lead.
As the game progressed, play became a back-and-forth battle, and just before the half ended, West Fairmont was able to answer with a goal of their own, to tie things up 1-1.
West came out strong in the second and quickly added one to their side of the scoreboard, to take their first lead of the evening 2-1.
However, the Lady Knights worked to keep West out of scoring range for the remainder of play, and with a strong defense, wouldn’t allow the to widen the lead, but instead tied things up once again.
Near the 15-minute mark of the second half, seventh grader Bailey Weaver, sent the ball past the West goalkeeper and into the back of the net, recording her very first middle school goal.
Weaver’s goal tied the contest at 2-2, which carried over to be the final score.
Next up, the Lady Knights hit the road and traveled to Weston to match up with the Robert L. Bland (RLB) Lady Patriots.
The two teams had previously played earlier in the season, with the Lady Patriots taking the 3-1 win. Now, looking for redemption, TCMS entered the contest in a different mindset, determined to turn their setbacks into comebacks. And they did just that.
Although the match started with seesaw play and the Lady Knights were met with a tough RLB defense that was able to keep them out of the goal, TCMS remained persistent and strong in their own efforts.
Just before the close of the first half, sixth grader Paisley Freeman landed the first goal of the game and the first goal as a Lady Knight, to give TCMS the 1-0 lead.
The energy from Freeman’s goal before the half carried over into the start of play in the second, and according to coach Joey Haddix, the Lady Knights came out of the break confident and ready to win.
“The second half out the girls played like they had something to prove, and they proved it,” he said.
Although Freeman’s goal would stand as the lone goal for the Lady Knights, their strong midfield play kept RLB away from the net, and the Lady Knight claimed the 1-0 victory over the Lady Patriots.
“It was a tough and very physical game. We didn’t have a lot of scoring opportunities, but in turn, we didn’t allow the Lady Patriots many either. After our long break, it was a great team win,” Haddix voiced.
The Lady Knights wrapped up their season with games on Monday and Tuesday. Results from those contests will appear in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Statesman.