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Lady Pioneers rout DeKalb County
Natalie Stepien.jpg
Sophomore Natalie Stepien, pictured in a previous match, scored a goal in Thursday's 8-1 road win at DeKalb County. The Lady Pioneers will play at home Tuesday in the district tourney.

The Lady Pioneers passed their final test of the regular season. Now all eyes turn to Tuesday’s matchup in the district tournament against Cookeville.

Warren County smashed DeKalb County 8-1 on the road Thursday, improving its record to 11-4-2 this season. It came just two days after the Lady Pioneers blanked Cannon County 8-0 in their home finale.

“We used the last two games as an opportunity to work on the things we’ve worked on in practice. We had two good days of practice last week,” said coach Todd Willmore. “Now we’ll hope to continue it Monday and get ready for Tuesday’s match.”

Warren County had little trouble dispatching DeKalb County, building a 6-0 lead before halftime. The Lady Pioneers allowed a late goal just before the break, but responded with two early goals in the second half before Willmore cleared the bench.

Katie Toney continued her torrid scoring pace this season, netting three more goals while adding two assists. Toney, a sophomore, now has 28 goals this season and 47 in her career, putting her in range of the school record (95 goals, Ansley Mullican).

Senior Sam Ramsey added two goals and one assist in the victory over the Lady Tigers, while freshman Bekah Jackson and defenders Sarai Ruiz and Natalie Stepien were able to boost the offense with one goal each.

The Lady Pioneers have known for two weeks they would need to beat Cookeville to continue their season. Tuesday’s home matchup is one of two District 6AAA semifinal games being played that night (the other will be held in Soddy Daisy). The winner of Tuesday’s matchup will move into the district finals, along with punching its ticket to the region tournament.

The loser will be done for the year.

Warren County already defeated Cookeville 3-0 at home this year. Coach Willmore is hopeful his team will continue to keep its focus on the task at hand, especially against an always pesky Lady Cavalier group.

“The girls understand that it’s all about controlling what they can control. If we play the way we’re capable of playing, we feel good about our chances regardless of who we’re playing.”

Tuesday’s match is set to begin at 6 p.m. at Warren County High School.