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WCMS tops Coffee
Saydee-Winfree

On a rain-soaked field, coach Matt Walker told his WCMS Lady Pioneer soccer team mistakes would be made, but the team would have to press on.
It was Coffee County who made the most mistakes at Warren County High School soccer field as the Lady Pioneers improved their Central Tennessee Conference record to 6-0 with a 2-1 win over their rivals.
Warren County came into Monday  night’s game already assured the top spot in next Saturday’s conference tournament. Coffee County needed a win to move into second place, but the Lady Pioneers weren’t going to let the final game for 15 eighth-graders be spoiled.
The Lady Pioneers struck first, added a late goal and held on behind the great play of Bailey Walker in the net.
Rain nearly washed away any chance of the game being played, especially when thunder and lightning became involved. The game started 20 minutes late, but the Lady Pioneers were ready when both teams took the field.
Warren County pressed forward early, getting multiple shots on goal. The Lady Pioneer shots were just off however, leaving the score 0-0 midway through the first half.
With 11 minutes to go, Coffee County made its first mistake. A Coffee County defender shoved down Madison Mason near midfield and drew a yellow card.
The Lady Pioneers got a free kick from the foul and Mason got her revenge. Lindsey Cox sailed the ball deep into the Coffee County zone where Mason took possession. After taking a few dribbles, Mason took a shot and beat the Coffee County keeper to put Warren County up 1-0.
The teams would go into halftime shortly after and coach Walker made sure to remind his team how dangerous the opponent was in the second half.
“The first time we played Coffee County, they scored two goals in the span of two minutes in a game we dominated for 58 of 60 minutes,” said Walker. “I wanted the girls to come out and keep the intensity up.”
The Lady Pioneers obliged their coach by playing stifling defense and attacking on offense when the opportunity presented itself.
With a mixture of eighth graders heading up the back line, including Larissa Lopez, Bailey Sims, Candace Moore, Haley McColloch and Abby Hutchins, Coffee County wasn’t able to find room to get shots on Walker in the net.
With time running down, the Lady Pioneers took advantage of the over-aggressiveness of their opponents to add a valuable insurance goal.
Paige Merriman took possession of the ball near midfield and placed a perfect pass out in front of Livia Walker. Walker moved the ball down the left side of the field before finding Alana Ortiz streaking toward the goal.
Walker sent a pass right in the middle of the zone where Ortiz came flying in and knocked the ball home to give Warren County a 2-0 lead. The goal would end up being the game winner as Coffee County mounted a furious comeback late.
The Lady Pioneers relaxed with a two-goal lead and only five minutes to play. Coffee County kept playing hard and it resulted in a goal with four minutes left to cut the Lady Pioneer lead in half.
The goal swung momentum to the visitors as they tried to send the game into overtime with an abundance of shots late.
Bailey Walker hung tough in the net, stopping several attempts by diving on the ball before a Coffee County player could get a shot off.
Walker’s biggest stop came with less than a minute to play. Coffee County got its best look at the net and sent a low shot to Walker’s side. With little time to react, Walker dove and knocked the ball away, preserving the win with a highlight-worthy save.
After the game, 15 eighth graders were honored. The group has helped the Lady Pioneers to a 10-2 record this season and the team’s first regular-season championship under coach Walker.
Warren County will rest up for a week before beginning preparations for the CTC tournament. Game times and opponents in the tournament are still to be determined based on regular-season standings.