By Wil Crews
Beating Morgan Academy 6-0 on Monday, the Lee-Scott Academy Lady Warriors’ soccer team is two wins away from a state championship.
Going into the game against Morgan, head coach Eric Faison was looking to shape up for the next two rounds and give some girls who typically do not play as much some well-deserved playing time.
“We never look past a team, never assume it’s going to be a win, but we’re going to come out preparing for deeper in the playoffs,” Faison said. “We just got our chemistry together where everybody is playing in the place they play the best. If we and after we get an irreversible lead … I’m going to reward the players who put in the time in practice who don’t see a lot of minutes.”
As far as the tactics go, Faison was looking for him team to build the play out from his back line of defenders, eventually work it to the middle and attack straight down the heart of the defense. Overall, the girls executed their coaches plan well, dominating Morgan Academy from the onset of kickoff.
For the entirety of the game, Lee-Scott held the lion’s share of the possession. The best Morgan Academy could do was hoof the ball aimlessly down field in an effort the relieve the pressure put on by the Warriors’ attack.
Lee-Scott started slowly but senior Emily Heartsill opened the nets with a goal before too long. Fourteen minutes later, after a good display of passing, senior Abbie Star found herself in front of net with no defenders in her way. The senior calmly buried the shot to make it 2-0 in favor of Lee-Scott. Heartsill’s second goal of the game came just before halftime when she made a blistering run down the left flank and toe-poked the ball with her left foot to slot it past the keeper. The Warriors, hungry for more goals, took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
The second half saw a transition from Lee-Scott when Faison began to rest some of his key players. Still, the Warriors got two more goals thanks to eighth grader Sam Sharma and seventh grader Julie Ann King. Star got her double with a penalty kick goal halfway through the second half.
Sharma, who played some center back and in midfield, bossed the pitch all afternoon long, repeatedly cutting off Morgan’s attack and springing an attack for the Warriors.
For the final 20 minutes of the game, Lee-Scott cruised to the win. Morgan Academy managed to register their first shot on target with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Going forward in the playoffs, Faison says he plans to field a team with a strong defense, but also a team that will attack as a complete unit.
“We play out of the back,” he said. “We won’t do defenders sit back and defend. On attack, I will send my defenders up.”
Lee-Scott will play the winner of Fort Dale and Springwood on Thursday. If they win, the championship game awaits on Friday.