The undefeated Independence Lady Eagles (6-0-0) went on the road Tuesday night to take on the Brentwood Lady Bruins (3-2-0) in a district matchup.
The undefeated Independence Lady Eagles went on the road Tuesday night to take on the Brentwood Lady Bruins in a district matchup.
It was the first district game for Independence, who came into the matchup outscoring opponents by 32 goals on the season. Brentwood, however, came in 1-0-0 in the district after its win against Centennial the previous week.
Led by two goals from Jessi Boozer, the Lady Bruins dropped Independence 3-2 to stay undefeated in district play.
From the start of the game it looked as though the Lady Bruins wanted to control the ball offensively. Head Coach Cal Long said that is the way his team hopes to play every game.
“That’s who we are. We are going to move the ball and play with pace, but we’re going to play smart and tactical soccer at the same time. That was kind of our deal, to try and keep possession of the ball and play our game with speed.”
BHS senior Jessi Boozer and a few other girls for both teams had chances to score early, but each shot was just wide of the goal and the score stood at 0-0 for most of the first half.
After a BHS corner with just under 17 minutes left in the first half, Independence capitalized on the Lady Bruins’ defenders being on the offensive side of the pitch and raced into Brentwood territory. Senior Ashley Weathers took a pass on the right side just out from the 18-yard box from sophomore Julie Garst and sent it over the keepers head for the first score of the game, making it 1-0 in favor of the Lady Eagles.
The rest of the half was played at a frantic pace, as both teams had several scoring chances squandered away by tremendous keeper play and a few mistimed shots.
BHS was able to get on the board with about 12 minutes left in the half as junior Olivia Winnett found herself in the right place at the right time. A shot caromed off the Independence keeper right to Winnett, and she scored easily to tie the game at 1-1.
Another goal for Brentwood, this time from Boozer, came with just 6 minutes left in the half as the shot bounced off the IHS keeper into the back of the net to make the halftime score 2-1 in favor of the Lady Bruins.
Independence came out of halftime with a new goalie in the net. Head Coach David Cordero de Jesus said it was a way for both goal keepers to get some playing time, and his team feels comfortable having either keeper in net during any situation.
“They’re both doing a great job and we’re comfortable with both of them,” he said. “We want to make sure they are both getting an opportunity.”
The second half started much the same as the first. BHS controlled the ball offensively, but both teams had chances to score that were either turned away by the keepers or barely missed the goal.
With 15 minutes left in the game Independence found pay dirt for the second time, as freshman Gentry Davis had a brilliantly placed shot on the ground go just past the Brentwood keeper into the left side of the net. The score stood at 2-2 at that point, but it did not last.
Both teams had more chances that just missed breaking the tie, and finally with just 6:44 left a ball found the back of the net for the Lady Bruins. A corner kick by sophomore Sydney Wudel fell to Boozer, who knocked in her second goal of the game to give Brentwood the 3-2 lead.
Independence had a few more chances in the closing minutes to tie the game, but weren’t able to capitalize. The final score stood at 3-2, giving BHS the win and IHS its first loss of the season.
Coach de Jesus was glad that his team was able to stick with the Lady Bruins throughout the game, but was not happy about dropping the district matchup.
“Brentwood’s a great test,” he said. “They do so many things well. We’ve had the best start we’ve ever had, and we’re excited about that. But, at the same time, the district games are the ones that we want. Starting out 0-1 is not what you want to do. We will come back on Thursday and be ready for our next district test.”
Lady Bruins coach Long said the way his team was able to fight made him one proud coach after the game.
“That was the most proud I’ve been all year,” he stated. “They stuck together as a team and found a way to push through. They just kept digging.”
Independence (6-1-0, 0-1-0) will again be on the road for its next game, as it travels to district-foe Dickson County (6-3-0). Brentwood (4-2-0, 2-0-0) will be at home against Franklin (8-0-1) Tuesday, Sept. 16.