KINGSPORT — When Sullivan South’s Natalie Street plays football, she wears a helmet.
While playing futbol Tuesday night, she went after 50/50 balls so fearlessly you’d think she was still wearing one.
The tough and agile Lady Rebels forward, who also dresses out with South’s junior varsity football team as a placekicker, scored two goals to help South hold off Tennessee High 3-1 in District 1-AAA soccer action.
The Lady Rebels (7-3-0, 2-1-0) dominated first-half possession, bombarding the Lady Vikings with a combined 19 first-half shots, 11 of which were serious threats.
Street, Keri Beth Harrison, Juliana Valk and Jasmine Freeman contributed to the opening barrage.
For all the sound and fury, the tale told on the scoreboard merely signified a 1-0 advantage at halftime.
The figurative scoreboard, that is. The field’s literal scoreboard signified nothing. It was broken.
“We started out very strong. I was very proud of them for at. But I think we just had those momentary lapses where we got a little too confident at times,” said South coach Stephen Fuchs.
“But we still did our job and defended well. Everything kind of meshed together.”
Street broke the ice with her first goal at the 13th minute, taking a cross from Harrison and tapping it past Tennessee High goalkeeper Jessi Spangler with her right foot.
At least five of the eight South shots that went slightly wide or over the bar were potential goals she overpowered. Street was acutely aware of her missed opportunities.
“I should’ve scored a lot of goals. I was kind of frustrated,” she said. “It happens.”
Tennessee High (1-2-5, 0-1-2) brought a lot of speed to the table. Sierra White, one of the fastest players in the league, was a matchup problem waiting to happen.
But the Lady Vikings were blanked in a first half that saw them take only three shots on goal. The Lady Rebels broke up two early THS breakaway attempts before the Lady Vikings could get off a shot.
“Our defense is good. They stay tight,” Street said.
Even with South’s scoreboard on the fritz, the visitors knew the score at intermission. Energized for the final 40 minutes, they spent enough quality time on the Lady Rebels’ end of the field to win five corner kicks.
South’s defense held. Street finally crushed Tennessee High’s hopes of yet another draw in the 66th minute by dribbling through the middle and putting one away in the corner of the goal.
Caylin Quillen made it 3-0 at the 76th minute after a little fancy footwork in the box.
“I was really nervous. I didn’t really know if I should take it in or not,” Quillen said. “I beat out one girl and somebody called for a pass. I didn’t know what to do, so I just shot it.”
A minute later, the Lady Vikings finally broke the drought with an unassisted goal from White.
“I’ve got to do a better job getting them ready to play from the beginning,” said Tennessee High coach Kevin Mooney. “We just can’t give a team a first half like we played and then find the urgency in the second half to play a lot better.”comments powered by Disqus