By TONY STINNETT
Courier Sports Editor
Livia Walker picked up where she left off for the Cannon County girls soccer team last fall.
Walker produced a hat trick with three goals as the Lionettes turned back Huntland 5-4 in the season opener Tuesday (Aug. 19). She followed that effort with two goals in a 5-2 setback against White County Thursday (Aug. 21).
Walker scored a school-record 18 goals last season and the strong-legged left-footer appears to be well on her way to besting that in 2014.
Walker was not the only source of offense in Cannon County’s exciting 5-4 win against Huntland.
Hannah Taylor scored on a penalty kick to open the scoring. Walker struck for back-to-back to stake the Lionettes (1-0) to a 3-0 lead but Huntland battled back to tie the game, 3-3, early in the second half.
Walker’s third goal proved to be the game-winner but Molly Williams provided what proved to be a pivotal score to put the Lionettes on top 5-3.
Huntland added a goal to close to within 5-4 but Cannon County’s defense held in the final five minutes to earn the win.
Keeper Jessica Elmy had three saves in the close win.
Defenders Jylian Jones, Kendra Maynard, LeeAnn Scott, Bailey Sims, Autumn King, Kallie McCrary and Baylee Nemeth were key down the stretch in the defensive rotation. Hannah Haley provided critical support at midfield.
“It was a tough game,” Lionettes Head Coach Zach McAllister said. “It was back-and-forth and we had to battle. It was an exciting game to start the season.”
Cannon County dropped a 5-2 decision at White County in its second game of the season.
Walker scored two goals. Both scores were assisted by forward Molly Williams, who is off to a strong start with two assists and a goal in two games.
White County led 4-1 at the half with one of its goals coming off a penalty kick.
Cannon County managed three shots on goal in the first half but came away with just one of those opportunities when Walker scored her fourth goal of the season.
Walker took a crisp pass from Williams and scored early in the second half, cutting the deficit to 4-2, but Cannon County had just one shot on goal the remainder of the half.
Keeper Jessica Elmy was busy with 10 saves for the Lionettes.