Scoring is usually at a premium in soccer, but not when the Warren County High School Lady Pioneers are involved.
The high-octane offense of the Lady Pioneers produced at a high level Tuesday as Warren County defeated the Tullahoma Lady Wildcats 6-2 to begin the season.
On its way to a 16-5 record and District 6-AAA title last season, the Lady Pioneers averaged over four goals a game. Warren County didn’t forget how to score over the summer.
Ansley Mullican led the offensive charge, scoring two second-half goals to go along with an assist. Ayla Anish, Morgan McCormick, Kristin Maynard and Courtney Blair each scored once as Warren County looked in midseason form opening night.
Coach Todd Willmore praised his team for its unselfish play, which resulted in a number of open looks for the Lady Pioneers.
“Communication wise, it was probably one of the best games I’ve seen us play in a while,” said Willmore. “We were talking and working together as a team.”
Warren County took an early lead as McCormick found Anish for a goal.
McCormick worked from the outside before crossing the ball to the middle where Anish had just enough room to put a shot on goal. Anish beat the Lady Wildcat keeper to put the Lady Pioneers ahead 1-0.
Maynard made it 2-0 right before halftime. After Mullican barely missed a goal by drilling a shot off the top post, Maynard took aim at the ricochet. Instead of letting the ball hit the ground, Maynard flew in with a header that beat the keeper and gave Warren County a two-goal lead at halftime.
McCormick made it a three-goal advantage six minutes after halftime. McCormick got a 1-on-1 opportunity with the keeper and didn’t miss. McCormick’s 20-yard shot sailed over the keeper’s head and into the net to make it 3-0.
Warren County relaxed with the lead and Tullahoma took advantage. Two goals in the span of five minutes made it 3-2 with 30 minutes to play, forcing the offense to take over once again.
Mullican answered with back-to-back goals, one assisted by McCormick and the other being a 35-yard bomb that touched the back of the net.
Leading 5-2, Blair put the game out of reach by scoring on the rebound to give the Lady Pioneers their sixth goal.
Coach Willmore liked the offense’s ability to regroup after Tullahoma made it a game, but flipping a switch isn’t what the fifth-year coach wants to see as the season goes along.
“It was nice to see the offense be able to respond when Tullahoma made a run, but we can’t rely on that always being the case,” said Willmore. “We have to keep playing and working hard to put teams away.”
The Lady Pioneers were back in action last night as Warren County welcomed Franklin County to town. The results were unavailable at press time. Check Sunday’s Southern Standard for more information on last night’s game.