By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The better Tipton County District 13-3A team has yet to be decided after the Aug. 26 match up between the Brighton Lady Cardinals and Munford Lady Cougars.
Both teams walked out of the Brighton Stadium participants in a 1-1 tie. Munford’s first half goal and the goalie play of Lady Cougar sophomore Taylor Savage appeared to have the visitors on the way toward victory. But Brighton deadlock the contest at 1-1 with less than 7 minutes remaining in the contest. Now the district and county rivalries have a tie on their records.
“Nobody wants a tie,” Munford Head Coach Kyle Selby said. “And I’ll be honest, we’re much better than that. We’re a better team than that. We move the ball. We process the ball. We’ve been doing it.
“But all of sudden whenever you step on the field with Brighton, it doesn’t matter,” he continued. “The bottom line is it will be a battle and war. And in my opinion they wanted it more during that gap of time there.”
Brighton Head Coach Shari Garrett challenged her players after trailing 1-0 at the break. Munford dominated the first half with possession and six shots on goal with Lady Cardinal keeper Anna Weber stopping five of them.
The Lady Cougars jumped ahead 1-0 late in the first 40 minutes when the ball bounced over Webers’ head and Munford’s Erika Lambert hip-checked the ball into the net.
“At halftime, Coach talked to us and said, ‘They’re beating us on our own field,’” Brighton player Avid Van Kampen said. “We didn’t want that to happen. So we gave it all we’d got in the last half to show them who field it was.”
Brighton started to possess the ball more in the final 40 minutes and got a few shots on Savage. The new Munford goalie stopped 20 Lady Cardinal attempts throughout the 80 minutes.
But Brighton’s aggressive play was rewarded when a penalty was called on Munford inside the goalie box.
Van Kampen was the Lady Cardinal tripped on her way toward the net. The call set up a penalty kick for Van Kampen.
“Fear led up to it,” Van Kampen acknowledged of her mindset, “but relief after I scored.”
Van Kampen was able to connect on the PK and even up the score with 6 minutes and 25 seconds remaining in the game.
For the final 6 minutes of the contest the Lady Cougars picked up the pace and had a couple of opportunities to take the lead. But Weber was ready for the challenge and kept Munford off the scoreboard. The final whistle sounded and the two teams left the field looking forward to a Sept. 29 rematch in Munford to maybe settle the regular-season score.
“Munford is a quality opponent and Munford has a lot of talent,” Van Kampen said. “I know a lot of girls on the team. But if we practice harder, keep our conditioning up and give it all our heart, we’ve got it.”
The tie made the Lady Cougars 3-0-1 on the season. Mostly fielding a team with 8 underclassmen, Selby said his young squad is progressing well.
“We have to learn to play together as a team and trust everybody,” he said. “We’re very young even this year. The last couple of games we’ve played well passing the ball and processing the ball.
“I’m proud of them and thank goodness it was a tie,” Selby concluded. “But the fact is we’re a better team than that.”