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Lady Pioneers suffer rare defeat
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The Warren County High School soccer team has grown accustomed to scoring goals, tiring out its opponents and celebrating victories. What the Lady Pioneers haven’t done much this year is taste defeat.
Warren County suffered its third loss of the season Thursday when the team traveled to Soddy Daisy and lost 5-1 to the Lady Trojans.
The game was a rematch of last year’s regional tournament game, one Soddy Daisy won 4-1. Last year’s season-ending loss seemed to serve as motivation for the Lady Pioneers as the team came out this season and won 14 of its first 16 games.
Thursday’s loss was a reminder though there is still plenty of work to be done for Warren County. Coach Todd Willmore put the loss in perspective for his team after the game.
“We kept fighting until the end and never gave up hope. They were just better than us on Thursday,” said Willmore. “The beauty is this loss has no bearing on our season. We got to go out and try to win our tournament and we may see them again.”
The Lady Pioneers missed a golden opportunity to seize control of the game early, but a near miss seemed to set the tone for a night of disappointment.
Soddy Daisy took the opening kick off and tried to work the ball back in its zone. Sophomore Morgan McCormick broke through the Lady Trojan line and stole the ball.
McCormick worked her way toward the goal and hammered a shot to the left side, but the Lady Trojan keeper was in perfect position to make the stop.
Five minutes later, it was Soddy Daisy who got an open look and the Lady Trojans didn’t miss. Warren County fell behind 1-0 and coach Willmore thought the momentum shifted in the opening minutes.
“It would’ve been huge for us to score off the bat,” said Willmore. “It seemed like we sat back and waited to see how good they were instead of just playing. By the time we realized we could play with them, it was too late.”
Soddy Daisy took advantage of a defensive breakdown right before the half to make it 2-0. Even facing the two-goal deficit, the Lady Pioneers were confident they could come back to win.
All the confidence of a comeback left the Lady Pioneers when the Lady Trojans scored twice in the first nine minutes of the second half to go up 4-0.
Soddy Daisy tacked on another goal to make it a five-goal lead before the Lady Pioneers struck for their only goal.
With 15 minutes left to play, McCormick found open space on the left side of the Soddy Daisy defense. McCormick’s run down the field attracted most of the Lady Trojan defense, leaving Lauren Roller to roam free.
McCormick dropped a pass back to Roller through three defenders and Roller drilled a shot past the keeper for the Lady Pioneers’ lone goal.
The loss dropped the Lady Pioneers to 14-3 overall. Coach Willmore is ready to put the loss in the past and start focusing on what lies ahead for his team.
“Our focus is on our final two games of the regular season and the district tournament,” said Willmore. “We have to take care of business on our home field.”
The Lady Pioneers will host a pair of games at Warren County High School this week. Franklin County comes to town on Tuesday and Tullahoma will make the trip on Thursday. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.
Thursday night’s game against the Lady Wildcats will serve as senior night. Warren County has six seniors on its roster.