By Thomas Sellers Jr.
October is finally here for the Munford Lady Cougars and first-year Head Coach Dylan Burnett.
Under the direction of Burnett the Lady Cougars entered their Sept. 29 contest at Millington with a 7-6-2 record. Despite being just over .500 for the season, Burnett said his squad navigating the tough schedule has improved its skill.
The host Millington Lady Trojans found out quickly how much the Lady Cougars have improved dropping a 6-1 decision.
Lady Trojan Corina Banda tallied the only goal for Millington in the first half. That made the score 3-1 at the break. The Lady Cougars jumped ahead behind goals from Lyndsie Ralyea and Erin Detter.
Ralyea scored the first two goals of the game with assists from Erika Lambert and Detter.
Then Detter made the score 3-0 taking a pass from Kasey Moore and heading it into the net.
“Today was good and we got a win,” Burnett said. “But the pace of the game was slow today. Going into Thursday we’ll see how our girls will respond to a good USJ team. They’re a really good squad. I told the girls coming into this year we’re going to play really good teams.
“We’ve played FACS, Arlington, White Station, Ensworth, Hutchinson and Fairview,” he continued. “We’ve played all these teams in the regular season. This is something they really haven’t been exposed to. They’re getting in work and exposure now getting them ready for the postseason.”
Before moving onto USJ, the Lady Cougars had a second half to play against the Lady Trojans. After an on-goal made the score 4-1, Lambert and Ralyea closed out the scoring for the day to make the final 6-1.
Matti Ping assisted on Lambert’s goal and Detter set up Ralyea for her hat-trick.
Munford improved to 8-6-2 on the season after Millington. The Lady Cougars concluded the regular season unbeaten in District 13-3A play and have earned the No. 1 seed for the tournament. Finishing first in the regular season, the Lady Cougars will have a spot in Regionals.
The Lady Cougars have outscored district opponents 27-1 this season. The only goal came courtesy of the Brighton Lady Cardinals giving them a 1-0 lead in the game.
“I told my girls, ‘Imagine if they have come into our place and smacked us 7-0,’” Burnett said, “‘would you not be going for their throats? They finally woke up and finished them 4-1. It was not our best performance but a win is a win.”
The 2015 Lady Cougars have earned quality wins and even some of their defeats have been a positive sign according to Burnett.
Munford played White Station to a 4-2 score and competed to a 5-0 defeat against Ensworth. Hutchinson outlasted Munford 4-0.
Burnett said those games proved his team can take only any challenge and the exposure will help them throughout October.
“As long as my girls take care of business and we do what we need to do, we should be fine,” he concluded.