By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The major difference in the Millington Lady Trojan/Bartlett Lady Panther match up Sept. 4 was communication. The Lady Panthers seemed to have a better handle on the process in Centennial Park to win the District 14-3A Soccer game 4-0. Bartlett Head Coach Jessica Hester said her players understand quickly after dropping games to area powers St. Agnes and Germantown how important it is to communicate. With goals from Grace White, Morgan Shelton and two from Kayla Doyle helped Bartlett pick up its first win of the season and start 1-0 in league. “It feels good but we can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Hester said. “We still have to play every other team in the district. So it’s a great feeling. We played the other two games to prep for district games. “It worked,” she added. “We came out and played our game. It feels good but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We still have a whole district to play. We have to stay mentally focused.” Bartlett came out focused jumping out 1-0 in the first few minutes when Doyle scored. Millington Head Coach Melida Jemmott’s bunch had a copy of chances to tie the game in the first half. The first opportunity came when Millington senior Katyln Dupree made a move on three defenders and blasted a shot stopped by the Bartlett goalie. The one-hand save kept Millington scoreless. Moments later, Dupree raced ahead of the field and launched another attempt hitting the crossbar. With Dupree playing both offense and defense, the senior headed to the bench for a breather. The Lady Panthers seized control of the moment controlling the ball leading to a penalty shot. White scored the goal from 25 feet to make the tally 2-0. Before halftime Doyle scored her second goal of the day making a move to free herself up. Bartlett was in control 3-0. “They were a lot more physical and aggressive then we were,” Jemmott acknowledged. “I really do believe we’re a better team than we showed. They won every ball on the floor and in the air. When you have a team that plays more physical than you, you’re going to lose every time.” Hester said aggression was the key to her team beating Millington and controlling one of the area’s leading scorer in Dupree. “As you saw, Millington was aggressive as well,” she said. “So being aggressive and pressuring the ball, and just communication. We were trying to play the feet. And work the ball.” Jemmott said her team has the talent to compete against teams like Bartlett, but it must work on verbal skills to see better results. “They have to talk to one another,” she said. “If somebody is in the back and you’ve got the ball, you have to tell them, ‘Hey, player coming. Ball coming.’ We have communicate. We’re lacking in that communication effort.” The Lady Panthers’ communication worked one more time in the second half with Shelton scoring the goal to make the final 4-0. Hester and the Lady Panthers still have the rest of the district and games scheduled against Collierville, Houston and Region foes Brighton and Munford. Millington dropped to 0-2 in the district. Jemmott said if her team fixes its main issue, it will get into the win column in league play. “Communication, like I told them, ‘The coach can’t go out there and kick the ball for you,'” she concluded. “If they listen and execute the game plan, we’re going to be effective. We have some great players, but they have to work together and communicate. We have to run and out hustle some people.”