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It was appropriate for the Central High School soccer team that a senior saved a win on Tuesday.
Senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Elledge made a sliding play to take a goal opportunity away from Shelbyville’s Olivia Doak with one minute left to play and preserve Coffee County’s late lead and give the Lady Raiders a 5-4 win in Manchester on senior night.
“It’s a big rush on a play like that,” said Elledge, a four-year starter. “That could end up costing us a win if I let it go in so I was trying to go all out to get to it.”
With one minute left to play and Coffee County clinging to a 5-4 lead, Elledge sprinted from between the pipes, slid and gobbled up a loose ball that was only feet away from Shelbyville’s Olivia Doak, who broke away from the Lady Raider defense and had a potential one-on-one opportunity with Elledge. Elledge collided with Doak on the play, sending her flying through the air.
“[Elledge] had about four or five 50-50 balls,” said first-year CHS head coach David Amado. “She is doing a good job on those types of plays right now.”
Coffee County exploded in the second half, especially in the final 15:30, to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
Senior Tasha Anderson started the offensive rally with a breakaway goal with 15:30 to play to
knot the game at 3-3. Anderson had another look at the goal just a few seconds later but her off-balance shot with her left foot was stopped.
But Katie Reid added two goals with 12:30 and 8:05 to play to push the Lady Raider lead to 5-3. Reid’s first goal crossed up the goalie and she bent the second one around a defender to find the back of the net.
Reid finished with three goals – all in the second half – for a hat trick. Her first goal game with 34:20 left to play to tie the game at 2-2.
“Shelbyville played a good game and had us on our heels,” added Amado. “It was a physical game and our girls didn’t back off. We have to learn to play like that.”
The game went into halftime tied at 1-1 after Izzy Huddleston gave Coffee County a 1-0 lead 18 minutes into the opening half and Shelbyville answered when Doak, who appeared offside on the play, knocked a goal past a sliding Elledge five minutes later to tie the game 1-1.
Shelbyville took a lead early in the second half when Heather Groves collided with Elledge to knock the ball in for a 2-1 advantage.
“She was laying on top of me while the ball was still in play,” said a frustrated Elledge. “If it was a field player it would be called obstruction. So when she collided with me I had possession then and she laid on top of me.”
Both teams swapped goals one more time before Coffee County took control.
Reid scored her first goal just a minute later to tie the game at 2-2 and Shelbyville’s Jailenn Scott answered when she collected a loose ball after Elledge slid to knock a scoring opportunity away. Scott’s goal came with Elledge still on the ground and two Coffee County defenders unable to get in front of the high shot.
Shelbyville’s fourth goal came on a penalty kick from Hayley Puckett with 5:25 to play and the Lady Raiders leading 5-3. Puckett tucked her shot away in the top right corner of the goal. But that was the end of the scoring for Shelbyville.
Senior night festivities
Coffee County recognized six seniors at halftime: Sarah Monroe, Sigrid Voll Eek, Anderson, Hannah Duke, Summer Robinson and Elledge.
“It was good to get a win for our seniors tonight,” said Amado.
District tournament looms
Coffee County will finish third in District 6-AAA and will likely need to beat Cookeville in the upcoming district tournament for a shot at the title.
A win over Cookeville would likely put the Lady Raiders up against Warren County in the district title game. The Lady Pioneers won the regular season series 2-0 over CHS with separate 7-2 wins.
“We are going to have to scrap our way,” explained Amado. “Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win the district and Warren County is tough. They have a lot of speed and our girls have done their best with them.”
Coffee County will wrap up its regular season with a 5 p.m. start Thursday at Franklin County High School in a non-district game.