“We came out and played a very inspired first half,” Boone head coach Steve Sessis said. “We played with lead legs the second half.”
It was also a tale of two forecasts as the first half was sun-drenched and muggy. Boone (2-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead at the intermission behind two goals from Madeline Runnels and one from Jessica Upham. Runnels’ first goal was on a penalty kick for a handball a little over eight minutes into the game.
During the break, a small rain started to fall and it slowly increased in intensity as the second half was getting underway.
The rain reached downpour level as the half began and the Lady Pioneers (0-3) started playing better, capitalizing on the sluggish Boone team with a goal from Emily Whitson.
“In the preseason and in the past couple of games we’ve had, we play much better when it rains,” Crockett head coach Chris Kudera said. “”I’m not sure if that’s the key, but we’ll pray for rain in the future. We started playing the ball over the top a lot and we were breaking down their defense. We noticed that we were faster than them and could get around them, but we just came up a couple of goals short.”
Boone answered the Whitson goal when Upham scored her second tally of the day on a breakaway to beat Crockett’s Alyssa Suits in goal.
Crockett was able to strike again late with a penalty kick goal by Toni Schroeck when she was knocked down in the box for a foul.
On the stat sheet, the two teams were fairly even throughout. Crockett outshot Boone 14-13 and both teams had five shots on goal.
Boone’s Faith Robinson was solid in goal, making seven saves and took some gutsy risks coming out of the box to clear the ball.
“Faith had some great saves and she kind of hesitated a couple of times,” Sessis said. “On those, she got caught out in the middle of no-man’s land. She keeps us in the game all the time. She’s a saving grace out there on defense.”
Crockett’s Suits also had a solid night in goal with eight saves of her own, most of them coming in the second half.
Boone will travel to Unicoi County on Thursday while Crockett plays host to Science Hill. Both matches are slated to start at 6 p.m.