CHURCH HILL — It was official Tuesday evening: The Volunteer Lady Falcons stepped into District 1-AAA in soccer.
Volunteer, playing the first game in school history, fell 8-3 to David Crockett.
As to be expected, nerves and uncertainty early took their toll in the contest. It took just over 10 minutes for the Lady Falcons to settle down.
By then David Crockett was leading 4-0.
“It’s one of those things where we are trying to fight timidity and the nerves when they first come out,” said Volunteer coach Nathan Bailey. “We know what we are capable of, but it’s tough sometimes to get them to see that.”
Bailey is not new to building a program. He also serves as coach of the boys’ team, which began play last season.
The Lady Falcons’ nerves fell away for the last 30 minutes of the half during which their stout play didn’t allow another score.
Senior Elaine O’Brien came through with another first for Volunteer. Just 23 minutes into the game, O’Brien put her name in the school record book by scoring the team’s inaugural goal.
O’Brien, who has dubbed herself “the Big Kahuna,” was positive and upbeat about the Lady Falcons’ first official game.
“I felt nervous at first, but I also wanted to be there for the team and be a leader,” she said. “I feel we have something to build on and I believe we will bring home a couple of wins this season.”
The senior, who is not short on personality, scored her second goal late in the second half on a free kick. Toree Morton accounted for the third goal with just under a minute to go in the contest.
Kaetlan Shelton and Heather Scalf led David Crockett with two goals each.
The Lady Falcons had several players exhibit abilities that will only improve with experience. O’Brien and junior Hannah Mills working in tandem showed the skills to be offensive threats this season.
Charlotte Melendez stood out defensively, turning away numerous Crockett scoring opportunities.
“Charlotte played awesome tonight. She is one of those who has been here since Day 1 working hard and it is paying off,” Bailey said.
The Lady Falcons travel to Cherokee for a non-district game Thursday evening.