TOP PHOTO: The Lady Cougar soccer team pause for the National Anthem in district play on Saturday at the Oak Ridge Soccer Complex.

By Amber Cowell

OAK RIDGE, TN (WLAF) – The 2021 soccer season came to a close for the Lady Cougars of Campbell County on Saturday as they fell to Oak Ridge in game one of the district tournament.  In a season wrought with injuries, weather cancellations and COVID cancellations, the team became adept to changes to venues, dates and times with little notice and they showed up every time. See Amber Cowell’s photo gallery HERE.

The Lady Cougars were missing three players with Seniors Makenzie York, Yamel Vera  and Junior Madeline Cordell not able to attend the district match for various reasons.  The Lady Cougars began the match with quickness and Harley Smith was able to take an early shot on goal that the Oak Ridge keeper saved.

Campbell’s Harley Smith battles to clear the ball against a Wildcat forward.

With York missing the match, Faith Elkins started as keeper and had many phenomenal saves including one she pushed over the cross bar which resulted in an Oak Ridge corner kick that the Wildcats were able to get in the goal. The Wildcats were able to cover the forwards not leaving much room for clean passes or break away chances.  The Wildcats led at the half 3-0.

Lady Cougar Meredith Bell travels up the field while being pursued by a Lady Wildcat.

The second half held more of the same for the Cougars.  Faith Elkins came out of the goal to play mid field which sent Laurali Ackerman in goal, this proved to be a learning opportunity and Ackerman had a good showing in the position. The Cougars kept pressure on the Wildcats but they were able to break through the Cougar defense scoring four goals in the second half leaving the final score 7-0.  

A Lady Wildcat gets physical with Campbell’s Faith Elkins in game one of the district tournament.

When asked his thoughts on the 2021 season Head Coach Bryan Horton said, “It was a tough season for the girls.  It seems like the ball was always not bouncing in our direction.  From injuries, COVID or just missing players we seemed to always be short handed.  With all that I can say our girls never quit in any game.  And I am proud of them for that.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/11/2021-6AM)