Lady Bulldogs and Lady Jackets battle to 2-2 draw

By Allen Earl -

The Middlesboro Lady Yellow Jackets defeated the Claiborne Lady Bulldogs earlier during the season and were looking to take another victory back home. Those Lady Jackets rallied Sept. 20 and kicked through the tying goal which held up and ended the game in a 2-2 draw.

Lady Jackets Head Coach Jeff Sorke knew it would be a close game, “This will be a tough game for us as we found out after the first meeting. We got the 2-0 win earlier but tonight we will be trying a different formation and Claiborne is good and fast enough to create problems.”

Lady Bulldogs Coach Shawn Peters spoke of his team’s performance since the earlier meeting with the Jackets, “During the first game we were not playing as a team. We had an issue with individuals not playing with their teammates and for the last couple of games I have seen a change in them. These gals are starting to play together as a team and there’s enough talent out there to hopefully surprise a few teams later this season and into tournament play.”

The temperature was in the upper 80s when the game began at CHS but there was a slight breeze to help cool the players. Early in the first half the Lady Yellow Jackets struck first with a goal (Emily Barnwell, 26:35) and put Claiborne into a corner. The two teams went back and forth with momentum for the remainder of the half with Claiborne finally getting the tying goal (Ruthie Sorke, 17:20).

They followed that goal with one from Taylor Chittum at the 4:05 mark. At the half it was 2-1 Lady Bulldogs.

Sarah Slusher broke the Lady Bulldogs momentum at 20:28 in the second half with the tying and final goal of the game. The game ended with a 2-2 draw.

After the game Peters talked about his team, “We played great at times tonight but when the Jackets would make a mistake we wouldn’t capitalize on them. We had our chances to put them away and just didn’t finish it. The Jackets seemingly made us pay on our mistakes and that’s the difference in a win and a loss. I’m proud of the team.”

One other interesting fact during this game was the second meeting between father and daughter. Jackets coach Jeff Sorke has a daughter Ruthie that plays on the Lady Bulldogs side of the pitch. When asked about how he handled the conflict he said, “In one word, it’s -difficult. You have to focus on your team and balance the emotions of hoping that your daughter doesn’t kill us on the scoreboard; while still wishing her the best. You don’t want your team to lose. It’s just difficult.”

The Lady Bulldogs have two wins on the season and the Lady Yellow Jackets remain with eight wins after the draw.

Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.

By Allen Earl

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