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Lady Pioneers clinch district title
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Coach Todd Willmore said before the year started one word he feared was potential because it’s never a certainty a team can fulfill it.
Following the Lady Pioneers most recent victory, a 7-1 whipping of White County, coach Willmore can rest assure his team has done its best thus far to live up to the billing it received before the season.
With Tuesday’s win, Warren County clinched the regular-season District 6-AAA title and improved its record to 14-2.
The blowout victory was powered by sophomore Ansley Mullican, who scored the team’s first three goals on her way to pumping in four goals against the Warriorettes.
The significance of the win, which means the Lady Pioneers will play all the district tournament games at home, wasn’t lost on the head coach.
“Winning the district title is huge for our team,” said Willmore. “It’s something that hasn’t been done in quite some time. I don’t know if the girls have yet to grasp how big it is for us.
“Winning the district means we’ll be at home in the district tournament. It’s always nice to be at home when you’re winding down the season and playing crucial district tournament games.”
The Lady Pioneers were coming off a sluggish performance in Cumberland County a night before when the team took the field in Sparta.
Mullican made sure early the team’s energy would stay at a high level  in the first half.
The sophomore struck for a pair of goals early, putting the Lady Pioneers up 2-0.
Her third, which would give Mullican her second hat trick in her young varsity career, got a lucky bounce off a Warriorette player and found the net.
After White County momentarily changed the pace by getting a goal to make it 3-1, the Lady Pioneers would take back over.
A foul gave the Lady Pioneers a direct kick in the White County zone and Kimba Warden never thought twice about where she was going with her kick. Warden went for the goal and was true in her aim to put Warren County ahead 4-1.
Morgan McCormick kept her string of games with goals intact when she finished off the first half with the Lady Pioneers’ fifth goal. McCormick has now scored in four straight games and 15 of 16 overall.
Coach Willmore was happy with the energy his team played with in the first half against White County, particularly after having an up-and-down performance against Cumberland County.
“We were much better than the night before,” said Willmore. “I was pleased with the girls’ effort. I thought they played well and were aggressive.”
Mullican would cap off her big night with a goal early in the second half. It was the highest scoring performance by a Lady Pioneer this season and gave Mullican 10 goals to go along with 10 assists this season.
Warden wrapped up the scoring midway through the second half with her team’s seventh goal. It was the eighth time in 16 games the Lady Pioneers totaled five or more goals.
Warren County hoped to continue its strong season by taking down the opponent which sent the Lady Pioneers home for the winter last year.
The Lady Pioneers traveled to Soddy Daisy last night for a game against the Lady Trojans and a potential regional tournament preview. Scores weren’t available at press time. Check in Sunday’s edition of the Southern Standard for a full recap of last night’s game.