The Thomson Lady Dogs defeated the Lady Red Devils of Lincoln County 1-0 on Thursday in soccer action at Lincoln County.
A strong and almost constant wind from the south kept the ball in Thomson’s end of the field throughout the first half, but strong defense by the Lady Dogs including excellent goal defense by keeper Chelsey Smith held Lincoln County scoreless and the score stood at 0-0 at the halftime break.
The same wind that worked against the Lady Dogs in the first half worked in their favor in the second, keeping the ball in the Lincoln County end of the field throughout most of the second half. It was evident that the wind affected play, however, as several strong corner kicks by Haley Oubre and numerous other shots on goal by Thomson missed their mark, clearly as much from the wind as from the Devils’ defense.
With five minutes remaining, speedster Betty Jones took a pass in the middle and made a strong kick into the net to give the lead to Thomson. Jones’ goal made the difference in the game, with the score standing at 1-0 at the end of regulation play.
“Haley made a corner kick and Anna (Carrington) passed it over to me. I didn’t know it was coming, but I’m happy I was able to kick it in,” Jones said after the game. “It was my first goal of the season, and it felt great, not just because it was my first goal, but also to score for the team. It was a hard game, though. They had a very good offense, but we just kind of stood our ground and got the win.”
Head coach Jessica Ruark acknowledged Jones’ contribution after the game.
“I put Betty on defense this game, playing as sweeper,” Ruark said. “She’d never played that position before, but she’d watched Caitlyn Carpenter play it last year and I knew she could do it, and she did a great job. Toward the end of the game she asked if she could go back up top, and I said ‘sure,’ and she went in and scored our only goal. She really did an amazing job. Chelsey Smith was also just amazing tonight at the goalie position, I’m very proud of her, too.”
Ruark also commented on the factor the wind played in the game.
“The wind played a huge factor in the first half, keeping the ball in our half of the field,” Ruark said. “In the second half, having the wind behind our ball definitely helped in keeping it on their side of the field. But we played our best game so far this season in the last five minutes of tonight’s game.”
Friday’s scheduled game against Glenn Hills was canceled because of weather. The Lady Dogs faced Cross Creek at home on Tuesday. Their next home game is Wednesday vs. Josey. Game time is 5:30 at The Brickyard.