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Lady Pioneers lose in regional finals
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Maybe it was the disappointment of losing to Soddy Daisy for the third straight year or the realization by eight senior starters that they’ll never play another game at Warren County High School field, but when the final whistle sounded in Thursday’s regional final game, tears flowed on the Lady Pioneer sideline.Warren County (15-7-1) had mounted an impressive comeback in the second half, but the Lady Pioneers came up one goal short in a 6-5 loss to the Lady Trojans.Though the loss didn’t end the season like the last two years Soddy Daisy defeated Warren County, the Lady Pioneers still took the loss hard.Fighting back from a four-goal deficit proved to be too much for the Lady Pioneers as Soddy Daisy claimed a regional tournament championship on Warren County’s home field.It was an all-too-familiar sight for the Lady Pioneers, who have watched Soddy Daisy celebrate the last two years after ending the Lady Pioneers’ season in the regional semifinals.In what has become an annual postseason meeting between the two squads, Warren County got a chance to take on Soddy Daisy in the regional finals this season after defeating the Ooltewah Lady Owls 5-1 in the regional semifinals.The Lady Pioneers held an early advantage, getting goals from Ayla Anish and Morgan McCormick in the first 20 minutes to go ahead 2-1, but five straight goals by Soddy Daisy proved to be the difference as Warren County couldn’t come back for the second time in two weeks against the Lady Trojans.In a regular-season matchup between the two teams Oct. 9, Warren County dug a 3-0 hole at halftime before rallying to a 5-5 tie.The Lady Pioneers once again found themselves down three goals at halftime in regional finals, though the scoring was increased the second time around.The Lady Trojans struck first 10 minutes into the game, perhaps with the benefit of a missed call. Warren County saw a pass creep behind the Lady Pioneer defense and to Miranda Smith, who was behind the defense.Instead of seeing an offsides call, Warren County players had to watch as keeper Lyndi Dodd couldn’t get her outstretched hands on Smith’s shot that found the back of the net.Frustration by the missed call seemed to fuel Warren County as the Lady Pioneers rallied to take the lead.After the kickoff, Lauren Roller found Anish streaking to the net but Soddy Daisy keeper Baylee Burk made a diving stop to keep the score 1-0 in favor of the visitors.Burk wouldn’t stop another attack by Roller and Anish minutes later. Roller led Anish to the goal with another pass and the senior striker was able to get her leg on the ball just before Burk could reach it.