CHS lands shutout on Senior Night

By PATRICK MacCOON Sports Writer
Posted 10/3/17

With yet another stout defensive performance, all Cleveland needed was a lone score 10 minutes into play Monday to come away with a 1-nil home victory over Boyd-Buchanan on Senior Night.

While …

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CHS lands shutout on Senior Night

Posted

With yet another stout defensive performance, all Cleveland needed was a lone score 10 minutes into play Monday to come away with a 1-nil home victory over Boyd-Buchanan on Senior Night.

While senior Lady Blue Raider Lauren Stutzman boosted her saves total to 116 on the season (7.25 per game), two fellow upperclassmen gave a swarming defense all the cushion it needed.

Kameilia Landry dribbled down the left sideline and punched a through ball ahead to Mary Claire Shaffer, who got the lone goal of the night off her left foot. The shot created topspin and bounced into the back right of the net.

“This was a great Senior Night for all (14) of us,” Shaffer said. “I was really excited to score the only goal, and it was a really nice pass. I know Kameilia was excited too, because it was her first varsity game. She deserved it.”

A defensive-minded CHS group, which has now held 10 of its 16 opponents to one goal or less, provided a wall the rest of the way on a special night when 14 seniors were recognized.

“When we score early it’s big for us, because teams have a tough time scoring on us,” said second-year Cleveland head coach Miles Christian. “When we get that lead, it makes it a lot more pressure on anyone we play, because they know we are comfortable defending. A lot of times it comes down to just that one big goal for us.”

Officials’ whistles denied a pair of goals for the Lady Blue Raiders in the second half, with both of the negated goals coming off of crisp corner kicks.

A strong clear by junior defender Madison Dasher in the 1:30 of regulation helped seal the victory to improve CHS’s record to 6-8-2 overall, with one final regular season road match set with McMinn Central for tonight.

The Lady Bucs fell to 0-8-2 on the season and have hurt since their top scorer from last year went down in the preseason with an ACL injury.

Christian’s group will take victories any way it can at this point in the season, as a District 5-AAA tournament road opener with Ooltewah looms this Saturday at 7 p.m.

“I think our match with Ooltewah will present an even playing field,” said senior forward Breana Shields, who has six goals this season. “It will be about who wants it more. We lost to them in the last couple of minutes on what we thought was an unfair call, so we are ready to come back stronger and are hungry for a win.”

Seniors recognized at halftime included: sisters Lauren and Erin Stutzman, Jordan Wagers, Ashi Patel, Anjali Patel, Rebeccah Phanor, Marsissa Couch, Brianna Ball, Jocelyne Viveros, Jenny Lopez, Jen Condon (team manager), Shaffer, Shields and Landry.

Four upperclassmen were able to log their first varsity minutes with the Lady Blue Raiders.

“This class represents Cleveland High School and our soccer team so well,” Christian said. “They even hold me accountable and they have been around longer than I have. I can count on them. They are consistent in how they represent Cleveland, and I am glad they play for us because they are phenomenal kids.”

The Lady Raiders hope the fun continues, as they hope to make some noise in the postseason.

“Our girls and I know the most important thing is Saturday,” Christian said. “These final games are just fine-tuning for a big game against Ooltewah.

“We feel like Boyd and McMinn Central pose similar threats. Hopefully the third time is the charm for us, because Ooltewah has beat us 1-0 in the last minute the last two times we’ve faced them.”

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