MHS girls beat Bell 7-0
by Jay Compton Sports Editor
The Middlesboro Lady Jackets got goals from five different players on their way to a 7-0 win over Bell County on Tuesday.
Senior Amber Ray scored twice while freshman Sarah Slusher had two goals and an assist in the match. The Lady Jackets also got a goal from Makayla Prater with Trixie Capps and Katlyn Barnwell each netting one goal and one assist in the win.
Jade Robertson and Slusher combined on the shutout with Robertson starting in goal and recording four saves and Slusher taking over late in the first half and finishing with six.
Bell County keeper Ashley Sweat had a busy evening on the pitch. While Middlesboro was able to punch in seven goals, Sweat turned away 16 other shots on goal.
“She’s new, it was just her second time playing there because our regular keeper (Kelly Browning) was injured,” Lady Cat coach Brandy Sweat said.
The Lady Cats were never able to get on the board, but had some chances. Alexis Williams made several runs from the midfield and Amber Baker twice had looks from inside the goal box late in the match, but Slusher was able to turn her away both times.
For the most part the Lady Jackets were able to stay on the attack and keep the ball deep inside Bell territory in the match. All of those chances added up to a 7-0 win.
Middlesboro was coming off a tough loss to Hazard in the All “A” Sectional, but bounced back to register their second win of the season.
“We kind of hit a slump after the first couple of games, but we’ve picked it up and been building. Hazard was a tough loss, 1-0 in the second period of extra time,” Lady Jacket coach Jeff Sorke said. “Every game we’re improving. We’re on track, it’s just a process that we’re going through. I’m happy with where we’re at, we’re working hard and that’s all I can ask for.”
Coach Sweat was happy to see her girls continue playing hard until the final whistle and was also pleased with some improved passing from the Lady Cats.
“That’s one of the things I’m working on. I’ve only got five girls that have played before, so you’ve got to break down the skills and work on them one at a time,” she said. “Every game we’re getting better, it’s a work in progress but I was pleased with the progress I saw out of them.”
Middlesboro (2-5-2) plays at Grainger, Tenn., today while Bell County (0-7) visits Whitley County on Monday.
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