ATHENS — The Cleveland Lady Raiders knew that they were going into dangerous territory Tuesday evening as they ventured north to McMinn County.
What Cleveland wasn’t expecting was to be shut out 4-0 by the Lady Cherokees in their first District 5-AAA match of the season.
“Hats off to McMinn, that’s the most creative play I’ve seen out of a high school girls team in our district in a long time. They are a good, solid team,” Cleveland coach Andy Byrd commented. “This was the buzz saw that we needed to go up against.”
The Tribe got their goal scoring going early, as Katelyn Hutchison scored the first goal just two minutes into the match.
Nearly 13 minutes later, Morgan Hutchison gave McMinn a 2-0 lead.
In the 31st minute, M. Hutchison was able to score a third Lady Cherokee goal, with the assist coming from Gabby Poston.
Shelby Wilson struck gold for the Tribe with just seconds remaining in the first half, making it 4-0 at the half.
The Lady Raiders were able to fend off the Lady Cherokee attack in the next 40 minutes of play.
“We held them scoreless in the second half and were a lot more organized. We increased the intensity in the end and started figuring things out,” Coach Byrd explained.
Despite upping the intensity, Cleveland was only able to register one shot on goal, which came from Sohara Perez. McMinn registered a total of 21 shots, 15 of which were on goal.
“Jenna Scoggins had a couple great saves. I know it was 4-nil, but she still had some great saves. We also had great hustle play by Sohara Perez, who I swear ran seven miles tonight,” Coach Byrd stated.
Cleveland will travel to Red Bank on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then continues with district play next Tuesday, when Soddy-Daisy comes to town.
LADY CHEROKEES 4, LADY RAIDERS 0
Halftime score: 4-0 (MC) Goals: Morgan Hutchison 2, Katelyn Hutchison, Shelby Wilson (MC). Assists: Gabby Poston (MC). Record: Cleveland 2-3-1, 0-1 District 5-AAA; McMinn County 2-1-2, 1-0 District 5-AAA.