Cass had clawed its way to a 2-1 lead relatively early and made it stand up by turning away shot after shot from Cartersville until the tables suddenly turned on it late in the contest.
Chad Murray, head coach of the Lady Purple Hurricanes, said his team came out unprepared but found a way to right itself in the second half.
“In the first half we came out tight,” he said. “We weren’t ready to go when the game started and I think that showed up. We played tentatively, played scared. We addressed that at halftime, told them to pick it up and play soccer like we know how to play soccer. They did.”
Phil Phillips, Cass coach, said the loss was a lesson for his team.
“We have to learn it’s an 80-minute soccer game, and when we get up we have to learn how to finish,” he said. “I just don’t think we did that tonight.”
Cass scored first in the contest when Harbeke Katelynn buried a shot into the net in the game’s 13th minute to take a 1-0 lead.
Cartersville quickly responded as Payton Putzer scored the first of her two goals in the 14th minute and knotted the game at 1-all.
The Lady Colonels did not allow the game to stay tied long, however, as Jana Morning found net in the 17th minute to give Cass its 2-1 lead.
Cass had a golden opportunity to add to its lead in the 26th minute when one of its strikers was fouled in the box. Cass was awarded a PK but the ball just missed net by inches and the scoreboard remained unchanged.
Both teams kept their offenses rolling throughout the half with Cass firing six shots on goal while Cartersville came close to scoring a second game.
Cartersville stepped up its offensive attacks in the second half but the Colonels found ways to turn away multiple shots most of the frame.
That ended in the 73rd minute after the Cass keeper turned away a Cartersville shot but the Lady Colonels were unable to clear and Lady Cane Chloe Davis fought through a mass of defenders to find net with a followup shot, tying the game at 2-all.
Cartersville then took its first lead of the night when Putzer scored her second goal in the 75th minute.
Murray said Cass was a real challenge for his team and that should help Cartersville down the road.
“I told the girls we need to play games like this,” he said. “Cass is a quality team. They are going to be very successful this year. We need games like this to face a little adversity. It’s fun and it’s confidence building to win games by a large margin, but you have these kinds of games to prepare you for later in the season.”
He said the Lady Canes were able to adjust their game to Cass after halftime.
“We had better passing and [kept] possession [of the ball] better after the break,” he added. “We didn’t do that in the first half, and in the second half we possessed the ball a little more, passed the ball a little better and we attacked the goal. I told the girls to press it and they did. They responded.”
Phillips said the loss was disappointing.
“I felt like we could come in here and competed and brought this one home,” he said. “I take nothing away from Cartersville. Those girls came out and played together like a team and they hustled. They wanted it. Basically, they wanted it more than we did in that second half.
“We could have put the game away in the first half. We basically outshot them on frame 6-2 on goal. We controlled most of our end of the field in the first half. We scored ... and had the PK but missed it. We had our opportunities.”
Adairsville 2, LaFayette 1
Adairsville claimed its fourth win in a row to start the season with a 2-1 victory over LaFayette.
The Lady Tigers opened scoring in the game’s 23rd minute when Emily Sexauer sent a shot into the box that bounced off the goalie but was caught by the tip of Haley Pittman’s cleat and skidded to the back of the net.
That was the only goal scored in the game’s first half as the two teams went back and forth the rest of the half.
Adairsville got a good taste of adversity to start the second half when it advanced the opening kick, only to have LaFayette steal the ball and tie the game at 1-all in the 41st minute.
In the 48th minute, Sexauer once again found Pittman’s feet again as the Lady Tiger put it in the back of the net for her second goal to give her team a 2-1 lead and close out scoring.
Lance Hall, assistant coach, said keeper Amber Litteral was a big reason the Lady Tigers picked up the win.
“Amber made five or six outstanding saves for us,” Hall said. “I’m not sure how she even got to some of them. They made some great shots and somehow she was able to punch them to the side or over the top and stop LaFayette from scoring. She was outstanding.
“I aged about three years during the game. Both teams played good, physical soccer. A couple of spins the other way and I believe LaFayette could easily have picked up the win instead of us.”
Adairsville improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 5-AAA with the victory.
It returns to the soccer field Tuesday when it plays Coahulla Creek at 5:30 p.m.