The Colonels had entered halftime locked in a 0-0 tie with the Catamounts in first round play in the Region 7-AAAA tournament.
Phil Phillips, head coach of the Colonels, asked his team to spread its offensive attack the entire width of the field and pass the ball across the middle to provide its offensive players more opportunities to take close shots on goal.
Probably just as important was the fact the Colonels had the wind at their back.
“I felt the wind would be a factor,” Phillips said. “That’s why we gave them the wind the first half, so we could finish with the wind behind us.”
The switch in strategy changed the complexion of the game.
“We got five shots on goal in the first half and about 17 in the second half,” Phillips noted.
Cass scored in the 57th minute when Mallary Hedden took a pass from Katelynn Harbeke and fired a shot from about 20 yards out that scooted past Dalton’s keeper and into the net.
Hardly a minute later, Hedden used a cross to reach Jana Morning, who fired her shot just to the right of the keeper, giving Cass its final points of the contest and a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Lady Colonels came close to scoring on numerous shots in the second half, twice on headers that just barely missed finding net.
Phillips was pleased that his team was able to finish what it started.
“It’s a big win. It puts us in the state playoffs,” Phillips said. “It’s our second [state playoff appearance] in a row.”
The Lady Colonels play Thursday against the winner of the Heritage and Gilmer County contest. The tournament continues next week to determine the region champion as well as the seeding order for the region’s four teams in the state playoffs.
Phillips said Dalton was a tough
“They looked a lot better than when we played them in the early season,” he said. “Anthony [Carlson] has done a really good job with that team.”
He said the Lady Catamounts controlled the flow of the game in the first half but Cass didn’t panic.
“We knew if we could get through the first half, we would benefit with the wind in the second half,” he said. “I didn’t feel we played as well in the first half as we did the second half. We didn’t play our game. Our game is we like to play outside and get the crosses. In the first half, we allowed them to dominate us as far as where we played — in the middle.”
He also credited the victory to the effect of senior leadership on the team, in particular, Hedden.
“Mallary is a four-year starter who has done a great job for us,” Phillips said. “I hate to see her go. She played a big part for us today.
“Defensively, Laken Bennett stood out. She’s our defensive mid. She’s been strong in the last four or five weeks as far as games.”
The coach also noted Dalton was held scoreless.
“Rachel Jackson, I think it was her seventh shutout,” he said.
Cartersville 10, North Murray 0
Taking time off didn’t appear to hurt Cartersville’s soccer game Tuesday.
The Lady Purple Hurricanes took about 10 minutes to get their offense untracked, and after that the floodgates broke loose and the home team defeated North Murray, 10-0, in girls high school soccer play.
Head coach Chad Murray said he was concerned about the layoff initially.
“We hadn’t played soccer in two weeks,” he said. “I didn’t know how we’d come out and look. I thought we looked a little rusty to start with but that didn’t last long.”
Cartersville’s first goal came in the ninth minute courtesy of Chloe Davis. The second goal was by Stefani Will, in the 11th minute; the third by a Cartersville defender, Lexie Delmonico, in the 14th minute; the fourth by Will, in the 16th minute.
Goal five was delivered by Anna Phillips in the 17th minute; goal six by Ashton Sanders in the 21st minute; goal seven and eight by Will in the 24th and 26th minutes; and Phillips scored her team’s ninth goal in the 43rd minute. Sydney Miller scored Cartersville’s 10th goal in the 48th minute.
The game was halted at that point because of the 10-goal rule.
Phillips had two assists, Madison Putzer had one assist, Payton Putzer had one assist and Sanders had one assist.
The shutout was by Abby Robinson, her seventh of the season.
Murray was pleased with the play of his team.
“They looked good for a team that had a layoff,” he said. “I impressed on them to do some conditioning during spring break.”
Cartersville next plays today when it hosts Rome, a nonregion game. Play is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.
“Rome is ranked,” Murray said. “We need games like this to help us get ready for the postseason. It will remind of us where we need to get better.”
The Lady Canes (11-1, 10-0) then play Gordon Central on Thursday.