Courier Sports Editor
The character of a team is generally revealed in the face of adversity.
Cannon County’s soccer team has a great deal of character.
After suffering a 13-1 setback at the hands of powerful Central Magnet to start the week, Cannon County (3-2), responded with impressive wins against Jackson County and Watertown.
The Lionettes turned back Jackson County, 4-1, on the road Thursday (Aug. 28) and returned home for a triumphant 13-3 win against Watertown Saturday (Aug. 30).
Junior standout Livia Walker scored seven goals in the three matches, including two hat tricks. The forward has produced 12 goals through five matches, just shy of her single-season record 18 goals in 2013.
While Walker has been a scoring machines, team play has enabled Cannon County to put a quality product on the field.
Walker scored Cannon County’s only goal in the setback at Central. Keeper Jessica Elmy had 12 saves or the score could have been much worse.
Things were much better at Jackson County.
The defense was solid, holding the Lady Blue Devils scoreless through the first 70 minutes of the 90-minute match.
Jylian Jones anchors the defense, which was supported by the strong physical play of LeeAnn Scott, Jayme Dyer and Bailey Sims. Raquel Novoa provided excellent support at the stopper position and kept a few offensive possessions from stalling with quick thinking and excellent ball placement. Elmy had nine saves.
Midfielders Kalie McCrary, Hannah Haley, Kendra Maynard, Victoria “Tory” Jones and Kristen McReynolds helped keep the pressure on the Jackson County defense and made several stop before the Jackson County offense could build any momentum.
Walker scored three goals for her second hat trick. Molly Williams scored the only other goal, her second of the season. Maynard, Williams and Walker had assists for the Lionettes.
“It was the best our offense has looked thus far,” Lionettes Head Coach Zach McAllister said. “The girls were excited about their success on the field.”
They had to be even more excited following their 13-3 win against Watertown.
Cannon County jumped out to a 9-0 halftime lead and coasted.
Walker scored three goals for her third hat trick in five matches. Williams had one goal and one assist. Kaylee Nemeth scored two goals. Maynard scored one goal, Victoria “Tory” Jones scored tow goals, Hannah Taylor scored one goal. Bailey Sims added a goal and Hannah Haley had one goal, and C.J. Roberts scored one goal.
“For the final 20 minutes we played extremely conservative and worked primarily on our passing,” McAllister said. “We also wanted to let some of the younger players get experience in difference portions as we will experience attrition after this season losing Molly, Kendra and Kristen. The girls had a solid match and several played well.”