Coming out from intermission, Allie Torbett launched a high-arcing shot from the left side that went over the outstretched hands of West goalkeeper Riley Menees for the game’s first score. With the lead, the Lady Hilltoppers wouldn’t be denied.
“The difference between the first and second halves was where we kept the ball,” Science Hill coach David Strickland said. “The first half, we kept the ball so deep that we weren’t penetrating. The second half, we placed the ball where we were getting opportunities to score. That’s what changed.”
Torbett was glad to be the beneficiary of Science Hill’s better positioning in the second half. She was somewhat surprised to be able to place the ball exactly where she wanted.
“I’ve been injured and I scored with my right foot, which I wasn’t expecting at all,” Torbett said. “I saw it go in the air, which I wasn’t expecting since I can’t point it. It kept going and going, and then I saw it go in — so that was fun.”
Science Hill goalkeeper Haley Elrod kept the Lady ’Toppers in front by making a save on a West point-blank shot in the 52nd minute. With the ball back in their possession, the Lady ’Toppers raced downfield and nearly converted on the other end as Paige Carlsen’s shot bounced off the right goalpost.
Lina Powell also missed on a close shot, but in the 61st minute Parker Fleenor scored on a boot from the right side with an assist from Riley Cox.
“Riley also comes up with big moments,” Strickland said. “She may not be the one scoring goals, but she’s setting it up. She has such a good, clean touch and she receives the ball so well where she’s able to play so fast. She always seems like she’s open where she’s finding the ball.
“The build-up (for that goal) was great. It went from Allie to Paige to Riley and then across to Parker. It just missed Ariana (Gallegos Rodriguez), so there were two opportunities.”
Sophia Youngman threatened to extend the lead to three goals in the 75th minute, only to be denied on a diving save by Menees.
The result was a nice bounce-back for Science Hill, which suffered its first two losses of the season in a weekend tournament at Knoxville. Strickland said the scores didn’t indicate how those matches went.
“The one on Saturday against Catholic, they got a pair of goals in the last five minutes,” Strickland said. “We played really well on Sunday, also. The result was we lost by two goals, but we played well. When you can come back and put together moments like tonight, it shows growth. The chemistry is getting better and the work in the final third is getting better, so we’re growing.”
The Lady ’Toppers will face another pair of tests in Knoxville next week with matches at Knox West on Monday and Farragut on Thursday.