Lady Raiders pick up Classic victory
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Sep 06, 2013 | 913 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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CLEVELAND JUNIOR Ashley Valencia controls the ball at midfield Thursday evening in the Lady Raiders’ game against Signal Mountain. Thursday was the first day of the fifth annual Cleveland Classic. Photo by MATTHEW FESSETT
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Cleveland got their Classic started off on a winning note Thursday evening as they took on Signal Mountain.

While it took a little time for the Lady Raiders’ offense to get going, they were able to come away with a 3-0 victory when it was all said and done.

“Signal Mountain came in and had their attacks a bit, but they wore down. Defensively, they played a pretty nice game and it took us awhile,” Cleveland head coach Andy Byrd said.

Twenty minutes into the match, Sam DeBien was able to get the Lady Raiders on the board first, with an assist from Hope Haas.

“We had one of the best high school goals I’ve ever seen from Sam DeBien, with that header from Hope Haas. It was beautiful and would definitely be on a highlight reel,” Byrd stated.

That goal was the lone goal in the first half, but Cleveland came out in the second and was able to extend its lead.

McKenzie Harris made it 2-0 nine minutes into the second half, with Taylor Lopez netting the final goal in the last 10 minutes of play.

“It’s coming together. Our theme is ‘Can you see the sunlight coming?’ and I think we saw a little bit more sunshine tonight, but I saw glimmers of excellence. That’s what you build toward,” Byrd explained. “I saw flashes of excellence from Sam, Kenzie and Sohara, who was playing the little heel passes — the creative play is coming along. It’s hard for a coach sometimes because you want more out of your players, but as long as they’re trying to do the creative thing, and you believe in them and they believe in you, then it will come together.”

Jenna Scoggins was once again a stonewall in the net, getting another shutout under her belt.

“It was a great game tonight and we got the clean sheet again. It’s been awhile since we’ve been scored on,” Byrd said. “We’ve got a good opponent coming up next with Oakland and I expect to see a little bit of a different style coming out of Middle Tennessee. These tournaments aren’t really about wins, they’re about bringing progressive programs together and creating a great environment for everyone.”

The Lady Raiders will face Oakland tonight at 6:30, at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex.

LADY RAIDERS 3, LADY EAGLES 0

Halftime score: 1-0. Goals: Sam DeBien, McKenzie Harris, Taylor Lopez. Assists: Hope Haas. Record: Cleveland 4-1, 1-0.