By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Cool mid-80 temperatures, a crystal blue sky and slight winds were the ideal backdrop for the 2015 Millington Lady Trojan Soccer home opener at historic USA Stadium.
Although the weather cooperated Aug. 25, the new goals didn’t arrive in time for Millington to welcome the visiting Liberty Tech Lady Crusaders. So the Lady Trojans tried to make the best of kicking off their home schedule at Centennial Park jumping out to a 2-0 lead.
But the Lady Crusaders controlled the tempo the last 50 minutes of the contest to deadlock things at 2-2.
“We had two starters battling hamstring injuries right now,” Millington Head Coach Amy Chandler said. “Which is always hard to have somebody you’re relying on be injured. We have new freshmen we are moving around all over the field.
“They’ve just got to get adjusted to their new positions,” she continued. “I think that team Liberty Tech was really aggressive and physical. We started strong and we’ve have to finish that way.”
The tie with Liberty moved Millington’s record to 1-0-1 on the young season. The Lady Trojans appeared to be moving toward 2-0 with two goals in the first 15 minutes.
Millington jumped ahead 1-0 when Marissa Ward scored. Moments later Corina Banda put the Lady Trojans ahead 2-0 with a goal.
The Lady Trojans knew keeping the lead against an athletic Lady Crusader squad would be difficult with senior goalie Holli Stokes out for the first half.
In preparing for the match up, Stokes was stun by wasp coming out of the goal she was going to protect.
“That’s is something you never expect,” Chandler said.
Stokes was rushed to the sideline and her face was treated. With Stokes sidelined, Liberty cut the deficit in half when Teja Pearson scored.
The score was 2-1 at the break. Early in the second half, Stokes made her return. Still grasping the flow of the game, Stokes was beaten on a shot from Lady Crusader Cordasia Vaugard.
For the reminder of the contest, Stokes made several saves to keep the score deadlock.
“It was a good test because we’ll play teams similar to them,” Chandler said. “Nobody likes a tie but we’ll take it over a loss. It is just our second game of the season. We’re still looking for areas to improve and we need to get healthy.
“We had a great look from our keeper today,” she concluded. “She did an outstanding job. And great job by our center midfielder. We’re just looking to improve as always.”