A victory parade won’t be needed, but the Lady Pioneers will relish Tuesday’s win for a while.
Warren County snapped a lengthy losing streak to Cookeville, winning 3-0 on its home field to take pole position in the District 6AAA standings.
“(Winning) feels amazing. It’s been personal for years,” said senior Sam Ramsey, who scored a goal in the victory. “Being on our home field made it even better, and it being my senior year.”
Ramsey and Bekah Jackson each scored in the second half, while sophomore Katie Toney scored early as the Lady Pioneers knocked off last year’s undefeated district champs. The win vaults the team to 7-2-2 overall and, more importantly, 2-0 in district games.
Cookeville had a stranglehold on the district last year, but Warren County came into this season knowing it had a chance to upend the Lady Cavaliers. The Lady Pioneers did so with force Tuesday.
Warren County controlled most of the first half, punctuated by Toney getting loose for a goal.
The sophomore, who has now scored 15 goals in 11 games, turned on the jets when Ramsey took control near midfield. Ramsey played the ball up, allowing Toney to speed past two defenders to get a shot at the goal.
Toney juked past one defender, then sent a hard liner to the right side of the Cookeville goal. A diving attempt was just a fingertip away as Toney’s perfect aim gave her team a 1-0 lead.
Keeper Makenna Mason and sophomore defender Shelby Roberts made sure it stayed that way before halftime.
Mason, playing her first year in net, found herself 1-on-1 against a Lady Cavalier after Cookeville was able to beat the Warren County defense. Mason could only think of one thing as she stood tall on a hard shot.
“I was thinking go for it and don’t hesitate,” said Mason, who has recorded shutouts in back-to-back district games.
Roberts made sure her keeper didn’t have to do much the next time.
Cookeville again made a rush on the Warren County goal late in the first half, getting a player behind the Lady Pioneer defense. Roberts made up ground in a hurry though, ultimately catching up and forcing a weak attempt Mason was able to stop with ease.
“Those are game-winning efforts,” said coach Todd Willmore during halftime.
Any thought of a comeback by Cookeville was erased quickly in the second half. Ramsey and Toney teamed up again for a goal with 25 minutes to play.
Ramsey feed Toney again toward the goal, but instead of shooting, Toney drew defenders before dishing back to her teammate. Ramsey made a run and pounded a shot past the keeper, putting Warren County up 2-0.
“Katie found a really good opening and it was a good pass I could work with,” said Ramsey.
Jackson added the dagger with 13 minutes left, finding room in the middle to get off a shot and start the celebration early.
The freshman’s goal sealed the victory, one that Mason believes can be a springboard going forward.
“It feels great to know we’re that good and can beat Cookeville, but I want to go far (this season,” said Mason.)
The Lady Pioneers dipped back into district action Thursday on the road at White County. Action wasn’t completed at press time. See Sunday’s Standard for more details.