TOP PHOTO: CCHS Junior Cheyenne Davis is being defended by a Claiborne County Lady Bulldog as Lily Hatfield backs up Davis.

Traveling with the ball is Campbell Junior Sage Elwin against Claiborne County.

By Amber Cowell

TAZEWELL, TN (WLAF) – The Lady Cougars Soccer team traveled to Claiborne County to battle the Bulldogs Thursday night.

Both squads came out ready to play.  What has proven to be an exciting, physical matchup in prior seasons continued this year. The Bulldogs struck first with a goal in the fifth minute of the first half.  Campbell County answered in short order on a cross from Sage Elwin to Zaylyn Ivey to tie the game in the twelfth minute.  Sage Elwin had a beautiful goal from outside the 18 yard box giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead, but only for about a minute as the Bulldogs were able to equalize all within two minutes.

Lady Cougar Senior Faith Evans battles for the ball.

The Cougar defense and mid-fielders worked hard denying the Bulldogs from gaining a foothold, clearing the ball efficiently giving multiple Cougars promising shots on goal although they didn’t quite hit the target.  Even though the Cougars had more shots on goal, the Bulldogs were able to follow through and scored twice more in the first half leaving the score 4-2.

Head coach Bryan Horton must give powerful halftime speeches, because for the second time this season, the Cougars came out with a renewed fire.  Sage Elwin struck hard and fast and scored within 15 seconds of the kick-off of the second half.  With the score being 4-3 the Cougars seemed to relax a bit and the game became back and forth with shots on goal but with neither team scoring.  Watching the defense protect the goal is like watching an intricate dance, as one player goes up another drops back to the middle all in unison and without words.  The Bulldogs did finally score in the thirteenth and thirty-first minute.  

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With the score 6-3 some may have thought there was no coming back from that deficit with less than ten minutes to play.  However, this team has proven never to doubt its determination.  Zaylyn Ivey scored in the thirty-second minute and the crowd began to come back to life. She followed it up with another goal in the thirty-fifth minute, and the excitement was building.  Sage Elwin joined in with her third goal of the match in the thirty-seventh minute and just like that the game was tied with less than three minutes to play.  Zaylyn Ivey had one more shot before the end but it wasn’t to be and the match ended 6-6.

Tuesday’s game against Union County has been cancelled, but the JV squad will scrimmage J. Frank White Academy at 6. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/03/2021-6AM)