By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Brighton Lady Cardinals were nursing a 1-0 lead early in the second half against the Millington Lady Trojans.
Brighton grabbed the early advantage last Thursday in Centennial Park courtesy of a goal from Avis Van Kampen. The energy picked up quickly for the host Lady Trojans when senior Julie Dickenson blasted a goal into the net to deadlock the contest.
“Sometimes after you score, you relax a little bit,” Millington Coach Amy Chandler said. “You’ve just got to stay in it and act like the game has started all over again. When it’s 1-1, it’s like it’s 0-0. You can’t relax then.”
It appeared the Lady Trojans relaxed just enough for the Lady Cardinals to seize control of the early season match up. Less than 2 minutes later Lila Lumpkin scored to regain the lead for Brighton.
Then about a minute after Lumpkin’s go-ahead goal, Van Kampen tallied her second point of the game leading to a 3-1 win for Brighton.
“We started playing our game and not their game,” Brighton Head Coach Shari Garrett said. “I think that was very important.”
Brighton entered the contest at Millington with a 1-1 record and ready to establish control against the Lady Trojans. Players like Van Kampen and Brandi Holland possessed the ball despite pressure from Millington players like Devin McSwain and Bria Barnes.
The Lady Cardinals were more aggressive the first 20 minutes of the contest getting serval shots on a Millington goalie Holli Stokes.
The junior keeper was able to knock down and grab most of the Brighton attempts. But Van Kampen was able to blast one shot that Stokes appeared to save. The ball took a tricky hop away from Stokes to cross the line for the first point of the game.
Brighton led 1-0 after 40 minutes.
“We’ve moved some players around,” Garrett noted. “We’ve had some freshmen step up in some key position. I think we’ll be OK.”
Things were going OK for several minutes until Dickenson scored to tie the game at 1-1.
“They’re doing good so far giving a lot of effort,” Chandler said. “It’s been so hot this week. We have a slim bench right now so if we can get them in playing consistently. Despite it being so hot, we’ve done well. It was a close game today, 3-1. We can’t ask for more than what they gave. Just go unlucky there with one shot.”
Lumpkin broke the tied with her goal. And Van Kampen iced the contest with her goal. Holland ended the game with an assist. The defeat dropped the Lady Trojans to 1-1 on the young season.
“They need to work together as a team,” Chandler said of her players. “If someone gets beat, they need to learn to get back for them. They have to support each other and play defense the whole field. That’s something we need to work on. We also need our seniors to keep leading and our freshmen to step up. They have really stepped up and we’re so proud of them for doing that.”
Garrett has a similar outlook for her team as 2014 gets going.
“I don’t think it’s going to be individuals that make the difference,” she concluded. “We’ll move our formation around and it’s going to be all 11 playing together that will make the difference. We’re a young team that will need all players to step up.”