By Thomas Sellers Jr.
For years in the advertising industry, well-known slogan for a car rental business is, ‘Avis, We try harder.’
Last Tuesday Brighton Lady Cardinal senior Avis Van Kampen was living up to that phrase racing up and down the field against Dyer County. Van Kampen was attacking the Lady Choctaws on defense and then trying to get into possession to score on offense. Then Van Kampen committed a foul leading to Brighton Head Coach Shari Garrett pulling her over to the sideline to chat.
“Avis has a lot of heart and she tries to do it all,” Garrett said. “The only way this team is going to work is if we play as a team. The team really worked together and got her the ball.
“And as you can see, she’s pretty unstoppable when she gets it,” she continued. “But she can’t do the work for all 11. She has to let the other 10 do their jobs. Then she’s free to take those shots.”
While Garrett and Van Kampen talked toward the end of the first half, Brighton finally took the lead in the District 13-3A showdown at Brighton with a goal from Tessa Hendrickson. After halftime, the Lady Cardinals’ 1-0 advantage blossomed into a 6-0 victory over Dyer County. The 5-goal onslaught was sparked by 3 Van Kampen goals in a 7-minute span.
“Our game is what changed,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately we’ve been playing just 40 minutes as a second half team. You’re not going to keep winning that way. We have a bad habit of falling into other team’s way of playing and not sticking to ours.
“But when we play our game, you can see the difference,” she continued. “When we stick to our formation and pass to each other, we’re a different team. But when we fall short of that, we adapt to the way other teams play, we fall a part. We’ve just got to learn how to do it faster.”
Brighton came out in the second half determined to stick to its game plan. And once the Lady Cardinals established their formation, they dictated the pace and style of the game.
Van Kampen’s first goal came with 2 minutes and 10 seconds elapsed in the second half.
At the 33:10 mark, Van Kampen received a long pass from the midfield and was able to blast the ball into the net to make the score 3-0. Less than 2 minutes later, Van Kampen gathered another long pass from a teammate and was able to create enough space to carve a shot into goal from 20 yards out. The Lady Cardinals went ahead 5-0 after a penalty was called on Dyer County just outside the goalie box. Brighton defender Brandi Holland took the PK and drove the ball through the Lady Choctaw wall across the goalie line.
Brighton’s final goal of the night came courtesy of Catherine Fletcher on a corner kick.
The victory improved Brighton to 6-1-1 overall on the season and 2-0-1 in league play.
“When we work together we’re a good team,” Garrett concluded. “I’m excited to see where we go from here. Hopefully for 80 minutes.”