GRAFTON—The TCMS Lady Knights’ soccer team also participated in the Robert L. Bland tournament this weekend, playing the host team in their opening matchup on Friday.
The Lady Knights controlled the tempo throughout a majority of the contest, knocking off the Patriots by the final score of 3-0.
“We had a really good two weeks of practices,” said TCMS head coach Chuck Duckworth. “A lot of energy and excitement was built up for the tournament. Despite the cold temperatures, our girls were really fired up.”
The Lady Knights jumped out to an early lead with a goal by Jennah Charlton. Also scoring goals for TCMS were Kambree DeLaney and Riley Countryman.
“Jennah has been seeking that goal the entire season, but just didn’t have any luck. Kambree was in perfect position at back post on a corner kick, and Riley subbed in and 10 seconds later stole a pass and netted our third goal. We totally dominated play and possession. Although we gave up four corner kicks, Bland was blanked with no shots-on-goal by our midfielders and defense. We took 11 SOG and netted three. We earned seven points and were awarded the #1 seed going into Saturday against the #2 team.”
The next day, TCMS would line up against the Buckhannon Middle School squad that they had previously lost to by the score of 4-0 in their second match of the season. Although the Knights gave great effort and played even better in the second half than the first, B-U netted an early goal and that seemed to draw a bit of life out of the Lady Knights.
“Typically, our second half is better but we gave up a size and speed difference,” explained Duckworth.
The B-U defense limited TCMS to two SOG, which were both saved. B-U also had 24 shots, with 17 of those SOG. The Knights’ goalies accounted for 14 saves, mostly by Halbritter.
“Jerra Halbritter was excellent in goal again, with Regan Knight backing her up in the second half,” added Duckworth. “But clearly our energy was spent on Friday night. We had tired legs and sore knees and ankles. But we fought to the end for our (8) eighth graders. We finished in second place in the tournament.”
Duckworth also went on to praise his young team for the season they had together and his experience as a first-year head coach.
“I am so proud of these young women who are our student athletes of TCMS,” Duckworth went on to say. “We practiced on the very first day we were allowed, and we played a match on the very last day we’re permitted to play. We gave it our best. These girls are excellent students and are all fun to be around. I enjoyed my first season, and as I have told them, the blessing has been mine.”