For most of the regular season, the Central High School Lady Raider soccer team has struggled to win games. The Lady Raiders also haven't lost many. But they've been tying.
With the postseason beginning Tuesday night (Oct. 9) in Shelbyville, someone had to win, and it was the Lady Raiders scratching out a tough 2-1 win over the Eaglettes in the District 8-AAA semi-finals to avoid elimination, guarantee a spot in the district championship and the Region 4-AAA semi-finals.
"We couldn't tie this one, and we tried our best," Head Coach David Amado said. "The girls stepped up."
Coffee County came into Shelbyville Tuesday night having not played a game in over two weeks. Weather issues cancelled the team's final two regular season games at the end of September, including it's senior night against Murfreesboro Central.
"We were a little rusty, we gutted this one out,"Amado said. "It might not have been the prettiest thing you've seen today but it was definitely the best thing I've seen."
The majority of the first half was summed up by missed opportunities on both sides. Coffee County and Shelbyville both took shots on goal and had chances to score but neither team was able to gain an advantage.
With just over three minutes left in the half the Lady Raiders finally hit the net off a long kick by Jayda Wright, with Clarissa Barrera on the assist. Wright's long goal gave Coffee County a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
It wasn't long before the Eaglettes knotted the game in the second half, though. Less than a minute into the new half, Shelbyville scored on a free kick to tie the game 1-1. Over the next 39 minutes the Lady Raiders were unable to respond and the game went into overtime play.
The first half of the 20-minute overtime was similar to the first half in regulation in that neither team was able to take advantage of opportunities. Midway through the second half of overtime it began to look like the game was heading for another sudden-death overtime period. Coffee County's Maddy Jones put those thoughts to rest with a goal of her own near the five-minute mark for a 2-1 lead.
The Lady Raiders held down the Eaglettes for the last few minutes and escaped with the road win. Coffee County will now take on Columbia for the district championship on Thursday at Raider Academy.
"Whoever we play we just have to go and gut another one out," Amado said. "Survive and advance."