Lady Bulldogs stun Forrest

Friday, October 7, 2011

Good things come to those who wait. The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs recorded their first win on the pitch in over three years when they defeated archrival Forrest 5-4 at home on Tuesday.

Having defeated a strong Community squad last week, the Lady Rockets (2-4-2, 2-3-2 District) came into Tuesday's contest playing their best soccer of the season and raced out to an early 2-0 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs (1-7-2, 1-5-1 District), however, came charging back and scored twice late in the first half to tie the score at 2-2, before rattling off three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second stanza to forge a 5-2 advantage.

Cornersville's Alex Henry and Forrest's Camille Harris battle for a loose ball in the second half. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Forrest mounted a furious comeback in the closing moments of the contest and narrowed the gap to 5-4, but Cornersville managed to withstand FHS' late rally attempt to snap a five-game losing streak against the Lady Rockets.

"This win means so much because it's a morale booster for the girls," said Lady Bulldog coach Lindsey Browning. "They deserve this win so much because they've played so hard this season and have played well enough to win some games. I think our girls just wanted it more and played with no pressure because we weren't expected to win."

Forrest outshot CHS 28-17 overall, but Cornersville did a better job of converting on their close range scoring chances and got a solid performance from junior goalie Ivory Riner, who finished with 16 saves.

Forrest's Scarlett Roberson tries to outrun Cornersville's Alexis Easterwood to a loose ball in the first half.

"It feels amazing because all our hard work finally paid off," said Riner. "We've got some girls on the team that have never played soccer before this season, but they've gotten better and helped us get a win."

Sophomore striker Amala Elder scored two goals to lead the Lady Bulldogs' offensive attack. Makayla Campbell, Anna Claire Foster, and MandiLynn Calahan tallied one goal and one assist apiece for CHS as well.

Camille Harris paced Forrest with two goals, while Julie Macy had a goal and Ciara Cook notched an assist. Cornersville was also credited with an own goal in the first half. Forrest goalie Stacey Horton, meanwhile, finished with 12 saves.

The Lady Rockets jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute when Macy lined a penalty kick underneath the top post of the goal after the Lady Bulldogs were called for a foul in front of their net.

Forrest then stretched their lead to 2-0 three minutes later with the help of a fortunate bounce of the ball, as a corner kick by Macy ricocheted off a CHS defender and into the left side of the net.

Cornersville trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the 31st minute when Elder scored on a penalty kick after the Lady Rockets were called for a handball in the penalty box. Horton managed to get a hand on Elder's penalty shot, but was unable to stop the ball and saw it trickle into the left corner of the net.

The Lady Bulldogs then tied the game at 2-2 in the 33rd minute, as Foster took a pass from Calahan in the middle of the field and blasted a shot underneath the top post of the net from the top of the penalty box.

Cornersville claimed a 3-2 lead two minutes into the second half when Horton was unable to corral a close range shot by Elder on a corner kick by Foster.

Calahan then staked the Lady Bulldogs to a 4-2 lead by scoring a goal in the 52nd minute. After Horton blocked a close range shot by Elder, Campbell ran down the loose ball and made a crossing pass to Calahan, who kicked a low skidding shot into the open net.

In the 55th minute, Campbell scored on a nice individual effort to give Cornersville a 5-2 advantage, as she beat a couple of FHS defenders in the middle of the field before firing a low line drive shot by Horton.

Forrest finally stemmed the Lady Bulldogs' momentum in the 74th minute when Harris won a loose ball in the middle of the field and blasted a shot underneath the top post of the net to narrow the gap to 5-3.

Harris then rifled another line drive shot past Riner during injury time to whittle the deficit to 5-4 after receiving a pass from Cook in the middle of the field, but Cornersville managed to run out the remaining seconds without yielding another goal to hang on for the victory.