The Claiborne High School Lady Bulldogs soccer team welcomed the Northview Academy into town to get the 2016 season under way. The August 16 temperature was in the 90 degree range but there was a slight breeze to help cool the players as they took to the pitch.
The first goal of the game occurred at 32:26 after Northview Academy had controlled the tempo and played mostly in their opponents’ third of the pitch.
Shortly after, Rhiannon White had the Lady Bulldogs’ first shot but it went wide of the net. Rene Martin and Cheyenne Tolliver stayed busy defensively during the initial portion of the first half defending attack after attack. Near the 27 minute mark Coach Shawn Peters subbed nine hoping to get his starters some rest. Ruthie Sorke and the Lady Bulldogs had another chance to put a goal on the board via a free kick and it too went wide.
At the 21:58 mark, the Cougars scored again on a free kick to lead 2-0.
TSSAA rules mandated a water break and after the players rested for a while and hydrated they went back at it. Taylor Chittum had a shot late in the half that looked promising but just went over the crossbar. Both teams had chances at the end of the opening half but there was no further scoring.
Sorke had another free kick around the 30 minute mark in the second and once again her kick sailed just high. At the 19:20 mark the Lady Cougars scored again and they extended their lead to 3-0.
At the 16:20 mark Northview placed yet another goal in the net to lead 4-0 and Claiborne stayed true to the theme of high misses and sailed another one over the goal with around 14:55 remaining and the crowd let out an audible sigh at the missed opportunity. The green team later scored again with 12:36 left and had the Lady Bulldogs shell-shocked.
The game ended with a score of 5-0 and Peters addressed the team afterward.
“That could have been a win for us but it should not have been a 5-0 loss. That wasn’t the team we had Saturday and I hope you can learn from this,” he told his players.
He went on to address some of the off-the-field things he thought was hindering his team, “This team should be more than any off-the- field differences we might have. We need to, we have to be a team.”
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.