Maddy Jones

Maddy Jones moves the ball down the field on Tuesday, September 3 against Columbia. Thursday night against Tullahoma, Jones hit the equalizer to force a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation, which led to a CHS victory on penalty kicks. 

The last time Central High School girls' soccer took on Columbia Central, the Lady Raiders fell to the Lady Lions 3-2 at home in the 2018 district final. CHS got its revenge on Tuesday, Sept. 3, with a 6-1 victory in the team's first home game of the season. 

All six of the Lady Raiders' goals came in the second half after both teams went scoreless through the intermission.

"When we talked with everybody, the team and coaching staff all thought we were far from playing our potential," Coach Lee Xixis said. "[Columbia] got the quick goal in the second half and our girls responded with what we talked about at halftime."

Xixis said that the team discussed playing with more aggression, with an emphasis on increased ball movement and passing. The girls' turnaround became evident soon after halftime ended. 

Columbia answered first near the start of the second with a goal in the first two minutes. Not long after, Jayda Wright knocked a penalty kick past the Lady Lion keeper for the equalizer. 

Minutes later, Maddy Jones nailed a shot into the Columbia net to give CHS a 2-1 lead. 

As the second half continued, Jenna Garretson delivered two back-to-back goals to put the Lady Raiders ahead 4-1 with under 20 minutes to play. Jones followed with her second goal of the night with 18:08 left on the clock. 

Seven minutes later, Jones hit her third goal of the night to complete a hat trick and cap off an impressive second half for CHS. 

"We had a kind of rough first half in the beginning. Second half, we picked up the pace and communicated more," Jones said. "Communication and we worked on passing." 

The win improved the Lady Raiders to a 5-1 overall record and 3-0 within the district.