NEW MARKET — Southmont girls and boys soccer welcomed a pair of ranked teams on Monday as the Cascade Cadets made the trip to New Market for girl/boy double-header. The Lady Cadets came in ranked 15th in Class A with the boys a very impressive 8th in 2A. On the night the Mounties battled hard in both games. The girls got things going first and were able to pull out a close 2-1 win while the boys in the night cap fell by a 8-1 final.
Lady Mounties earn revenge on Cadets.
Southmont and Cascade have a little bit of a rivalry brewing. The two teams are familiar with one another as they are both in the same sectional. A year ago the Cadets ended the Mounties season with a win in the sectional semi-finals. This year the Mounties got their revenge in the 2-1 win. South struck first in 25th minute thanks to a goal by Jada Graves who’s shot was just over the out-stretched arms of the Cadet goalie and just like that the Mounties lead 1-0. Early in the 2nd half the Cadets evened things at 1-1 but the Mounties continued to be aggressive. In the 55th minute Molly Williams continued her stellar freshman season and gave the Mounties the lead for good. That goal would be good enough to give South the 2-1 win over the 15th ranked Cadets.
“We needed this win to really build our confidence back up,” Southmont coach Roger Azar said. “We’re coming off a win on Saturday (3-1 over Benton Central) so now this makes two straight for us. That first goal by Jade was a really good win to get us going. These girls our pouring their hearts out on the field and losing seven seniors from last years team isn’t easy but we’re beginning to find our footing.”
The majority of the Cadets attention was focused on junior and South’s leading scorer Jessica Hale. That allowed players like Williams and Graves to roam more freely.. The Mounties continued to shift Hale around during the game and it opened up some lanes as Azar notes.
“Moving Jessica around wasn’t by accident because we knew they’d probably man-mark her and they did,” he said. “I wanted to confuse the heck out of them and I think it worked for the most part. We made some changes on the defensive side. Girls like Shakhia (Burks) and Claire (Kessler) played a big role on that side of the ball for us tonight.”
With the win South improves to 7-6 on the season and now one of their biggest games of the year will be on Tuesday. The Mounties will travel to Crawfordsville looking to defend their county title from a year ago. The Athenians come in to the game wanting a county title of their own as they play both the Mounties and Chargers this week.
“That’s the big game that we’re looking forward to, “Azar said of the Tuesday matchup. “They want that county championship and I’m excited for them. Crawfordsville is a good team and they gave us a battle last year. We’re expecting a pretty similar game and it’s going to be a fun one.”
Tuesday’s game can also be listened to on Thunder 103. 9 WIMC as Jared McMurry and Kevin Jett will have the beginning around 5:25.
Cadets pull away from Mounties in second half
Southmont boys story this season has been they can play well for a half. What’s led to their sturggles has been putting a complete 80 minutes. That reared its head on Monday against the Cadets. South had the game tied at 1-1 thanks to Sam Bercerril in the 28th minute. However two quick Cascade goals including a penalty kick in the final four minutes gave Cascade a 3-1 lead entering halftime and they used that momentum to pour on five second half goals.
Despite playing a top 10 team in Class 2A, South coach Steph Kennedy was pleased with what she saw in the first 40 minutes.
“It was really good for our guys to see a very good ranked team like Cascade,” she said. “We played great in the first half but they rode that momentum of those finals minutes into the second half . I ‘ve been seeing these fantastic halves against Frankfort, Tri-West and again tonight. We can’t allow the other team to gain that momentum right before the half because that’s what killed us as of late. It comes down to us figuring out a way to fight through that.”
The Mounties in the loss were also without the services of Hunter Gray, their leading scorer as he’s still nursing an injury he sustained a week ago. The Mounties did return Becerril but now are looking forward to when Gray can return to give them the extra firepower.
“Hunter brings that energy and just great athleticism to our team and that’s hard to replicate when he’s not out there,” Kennedy said. “He pumps everyone else up when he’s out there and is a great leader for us. It’s going to be nice when Hunter gets back what we hope is next week.”
South falls to 2-8-1 on the season with the loss and will travel to South Vermillion for their next game on Saturday.
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