“We came out and played a very inspired first half,” Boone coach Steve Sessis said. “We played with lead legs the second half.”
It was also a tale of two forecasts as the first half was sun-drenched and muggy. Boone (2-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead at the intermission behind two goals from Madeline Runnels and one from Jessica Upham. Runnels’ first goal was on a penalty kick for a handball a little over eight minutes into the match.
During the break, a slight rain started to fall and it slowly increased in intensity as the second half was getting underway.
The rain reached downpour level at the start of the second half, and the Lady Pioneers (0-3) started playing better. They capitalized on the sluggish Boone team with a goal from Emily Whitson.
“In the preseason and in the past couple of games we’ve had, we play much better when it rains,” Crockett coach Chris Kudera said. “I’m not sure if that’s the key, but we’ll pray for rain in the future.
“We started playing the ball over the top a lot and we were breaking down their defense,” Kudera added. “We noticed that we were faster than them and could get around them, but we just came up a couple of goals short.”
Boone answered the Whitson goal when Upham scored her second tally of the day on a breakaway to beat Crockett’s Alyssa Suits in goal.
Crockett struck again late on a penalty kick by Toni Schroeck after she was knocked down in the box for a foul.
On the stat sheet, the teams were fairly even throughout. Crockett outshot Boone 14-13 and each had five shots on goal.
Boone’s Faith Robinson was solid in goal, making seven saves, and she took some gutsy risks coming out of the box to clear the ball.
“Faith had some great saves and she kind of hesitated a couple of times,” Sessis said. “On those, she got caught out in the middle of no-man’s land. She keeps us in the game all the time. She’s a saving grace out there on defense.”
Suits also had a solid night in goal with eight saves, most of them coming in the second half.
Boone next travels to Unicoi County on Thursday and Crockett hosts Science Hill. Both matches are slated to start at 6 p.m.