A district championship eluded the Lady Pioneers Thursday night.
One win from clinching a regular-season championship, along with the coveted top seed in the district tournament, Warren County fell 2-1 at Soddy Daisy.
“The loss is totally on me. I failed to have the girls properly motivated and did not make the necessary adjustments throughout the match to put the girls in a position to be successful. Basically, I was out-coached,” said coach Todd Willmore.
It was the second straight loss for the Lady Pioneers this week. On Tuesday, Warren County fell in the final minutes at Coffee County, ending the team’s three-game winning streak.
Still, one more win was all it would’ve taken for the team to clinch a title. The Lady Trojans had other plans.
Soddy Daisy struck first, catching the Lady Pioneers off-guard early to score the first goal in district play Warren County had surrendered.
Freshman Bekah Jackson evened it up moments later.
“We responded to tie it up with a beautiful left-foot strike by Bekah at the top of the 18-yard box, which seemed to give us the spark we needed,” said Willmore.
The Lady Trojans were able to edge back in front at the end of the half though. Being at the right place at the right time paid off, when a rebound off a save bounced straight to Soddy Daisy for a score.
In the second half, Soddy Daisy backed into a prevent defense centered around Warren County striker Katie Toney.
“They did a great job defensively, especially on Katie. They man marked her with high pressure and had at least one other defender, essentially double- and triple-teaming her all over the field,” said Willmore. “Once they gained the lead, they dropped nine back to defend, making it very difficult to maintain possession and get quality looks at goal.”
Even with the Lady Trojans focusing all their efforts at keeping the Lady Pioneers off the board, it was still a struggle.
Late in the game, Jackson played a perfectly placed corner kick, giving Warren County two shots at converting. Soddy Daisy came up with two clutch saves though, preserving its lead.
“I was very proud of the girls in the final few minutes. They worked extremely hard to tie,” said Willmore.
Warren County will finish the regular season with four non-district matchups, starting with Tuesday’s home game against Tullahoma. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.