By Amber Cowell
GATLINGBURG, TN (WLAF) – The Lady Cougar Soccer Squad traveled to Gatlinburg Friday to compete in the Smoky Mountain Cup. Campbell County wasted little time getting into action upon arrival. See Amber’s full photo gallery HERE.
Friday CCHS took on Perry County Central (KY) and took an early lead. The team went into the half 2-1 after a phenomenal corner kick taken by Senior Sage Elwin who found Freshman Jessa Riggs for a header into the goal. Campbell County went on to win the match 6-3. Sage Elwin had three goals, with Jessa Riggs, Cheyenne Davis and Zaylyn Ivey each scoring one goal.
Saturday held two matches for CCHS, one against Hopkins County Central (KY) and against Cumberland County (TN). Hopkins County proved to be a very physical team with many non-calls by the officials. Of the few fouls that were called, CCHS was awarded two yellow cards. Senior, Zaylyn Ivey was awarded a yellow card for retaliation against the aggression of a Hopkins County player and Freshman Braley Schroeder was awarded a yellow card late in the match. After an extremely physical match, CCHS came up short and lost 8-1 with Sage Elwin scoring the sole point for the Cougars.
Saturday afternoon the Cougars took on Cumberland County. Being their third game within 20 hours and playing short due to several players being under COVID protocols, the Cougars seemed to start slowly.
“Us coaches could not be more proud of the players that showed up, ready and wanting to compete this weekend. Of our 22 players on the roster, 17 players, and at times only 14 players, showed up and poured out their blood, sweat and tears for their team, and teammates,” CCHS Head Coach Jason Austin said of his team. Some of the teams had upwards of 30 players and were able to rotate their players keeping a rested team on the pitch at all times.
Cumberland County was able to score four times within the first 10 minutes. The Cougars then seemed to get their second wind and held Cumberland County to just one more goal for the entire match. Junior Marissa Nelson was able to hit the back of the goal before the half. The Cougars held Cumberland County scoreless the remainder of the match, a goal from Junior Harly Smith in the second half left the score 5-2 to end the match.
When asked his thoughts on the weekend cup, and Coach Austin said, “These young women showed more heart, strength and dedication to each other, than any group of athletes I’ve been blessed to be a part of. They looked to each other to find the heart to compete in 240+ (4+ hours) of battle in under a total of 20 hour period. Not only did they play, not only compete but excelled and lifted each other up to score a total of 10 goals against 3 quality opponents.”
Austin continued, “More impressively, even though grossly short handed, they managed to have each other’s back defensively and in 3 halves (40 minute periods), they managed to hold their opponents scoreless. As coaches, our level of excitement and optimism going into this season for these fantastic young ladies could not be any higher, especially if we can get to compete at full strength”.
The Cougars travel to take on the Clinton Dragons Tuesday at 7pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/22/2022-6AM)