Since the beginning of the season, one date has been circled on Lady Pioneer soccer coach Matt Walker’s calendar. Monday, Sept. 12 has been the date Walker and the Warren County Middle School girls soccer team knew would be the make-or-break day of the season.
The Lady Pioneers traveled to Tullahoma for a matchup between the top two teams in the Central Tennessee Conference and Warren County prevailed 2-1 to clinch the regular-season title and an opening round bye in the tournament.
Coach Walker was ecstatic about the outcome of the team’s biggest match. The look on his players’ faces after the win was indescribable.
“Words cannot describe the smiles and the excitement of the girls as they walked off the field,” said Walker. “There is no bigger game for us than Tullahoma and to finally beat them is a huge boost for this team.”
The win was a struggle as Tullahoma jumped out to a lead early. Coach Walker made a decision before the game Ty Ramirez would have one task, following Tullahoma star Anastasia.
Even with the entire defense focusing on Tullahoma’s talented striker, Anastasia found enough space to break through for a goal. Though Anastasia got one goal, coach Walker was thrilled with the play of Ramirez.
“I gave Ty the job of marking Anastasia the entire game and she gave everything she had and kept her in check for 60 minutes. It was a thing of beauty,” said Walker.
The Lady Pioneers answered back quickly. Livia Walker worked her way down the left side of the Tullahoma defense and attempted a shot from long range. Walker’s kick snuck by the near post to knot the score at one.
The game went into halftime tied at 1-1 and it looked like the game may end in a tie.
With five minutes left however, Alana Ortiz received a pass from Walker and drove it home to give the Lady Pioneers their first lead.
Action was fast and furious down the stretch as Tullahoma tried to battle back. The Lady Pioneers kept Tullahoma at bay and the celebration began when the final whistle blew.
The win improved Warren County to 5-0 in CTC play and the team earned a bye in the opening round of the tournament in two weeks.
The Lady Pioneers return to action tomorrow night with a home match against Shelbyville Harris. Warren County will play host to Shelbyville at Warren County High School beginning at 5:30 p.m.