With their focus drawing more and more to a pivotal rematch with Cookeville, the Lady Pioneers were still able to not overlook Cannon County Tuesday night. Six seniors made sure of it.
Warren County blasted the visiting Lionettes 8-0, helping send off a stellar senior class with a victory on their senior night. The victory was the team’s 10th this season.
“Everything went well. There’s always things you want to do better, but that’s just part of being a coach,” said Lady Pioneer leader Todd Willmore. “We’re working toward being at our best when the postseason begins.”
Sophomore Katie Toney showed why she was named the District 6AAA MVP this week, netting her third hat trick with three goals against Cannon County. Kade Wilcher added two, while Samantha Ramsey, Journey Cowan and Savannah Winfree each scored once.
Wilcher and Ramsey were part of the senior class honored at halftime. They were joined by fellow starters Savannah Cox, Sarai Ruiz, Makenna Mason and Julia Taylor. It’s a group Willmore has praised all season for their ability to keep the team focused.
“They’re a really good group and special to me. All of them have good leadership qualities that you love to have in players,” said Willmore. “I think their styles draw in the younger players, who really look up to them.”
All six showed why they’ve been a force this season, doing the things they do best. Wilcher and Ramsey each provided a scoring boost with goals in the first half, while Toney netted two of her own to make it 4-0 at halftime.
Toney’s last goal, just minutes before the break, was a rocket shot from 20 yards out that tucked into the top right corner of the Cannon County net.
Wilcher made it 5-0 early in the second half, rushing in and beating the keeper with a low liner to the right side.
Toney wrapped up her hat trick by banging a shot from the deep middle off the crossbar. The ball bounced straight down and rolled into the net.
Cowan and Winfree, a freshman, scored late as Cannon County failed to muster any threat against the Lady Pioneer defense.
Ruiz, Cox and Taylor made sure Cannon County had few chances to test Mason in the net. The senior keeper notched her sixth shutout in Tuesday’s outing.
It was a bittersweet victory for the group, who were happy to go out winners but sad to know their run is coming to an end soon.
“I never get tired of stepping on our field, but on senior night I wish it could’ve slowed down,” said Cox. “The fans never disappoint, but it kind of sunk in that it soon would all come to an end.
“Being a Lady Pioneer these last four years has meant everything to me. I’ve made the best friends being a part of this team and I’ve had the best coaches to help me get better as the sport I love the most. Lady Pioneer soccer will always be my home.”
While it was senior night, it won’t be the last home game for the Lady Pioneers. Warren County will go for a region bid next Tuesday, Oct. 15 when it plays Cookeville in the District 6AAA semifinals. The matchup is set to start at 6 p.m.