Brookland-Cayce shuts down Falcons
Brook l and- Ca yc e Bearcat head coach Katie Smith and the Lady Bearcats had to adjust quickly to pull off a 2-0 victory in region play Tuesday, March 6 against A.C. Flora at The Cage. The Lady Bearcats are without the services of senior goalkeeper Whitney Salonich for the season because she tore her ACL last Thursday in a 4-0 win against Irmo. Smith was forced to pull sophomore Brooklyn Wagner out of the midfield to replace Salonich, but Brookland-Cayce responded accordingly.
What is the solution to replacing a senior keeper with a sophomore midfielder? Take the pressure off her.
The Lady Bearcats did just that with a back line of senior defenders. Sweeper Sarah Laney, defenders Ashleigh Nettles and Mackin Wall, and midfielder Carlyn Fralick controlled possession and did not allow a shot on goal for most of the contest.
As a result, Wagner had to make two routine saves near the end of the match. Meanwhile, A. C. Flora keeper Clarrisa Gold was peppered with shot after shot. She collected nine saves, several of which were diving saves. But in the 23rd minute, a corner kick from Fralick bounced in front of the A.C. Flora goal, and Kacee Merritt headed it in to give Brookland- Cayce a 1- nil lead.
Just before the half, A.C. Flora’s Caitlin McDonald intercepted a pass and charged the goal, but her shot sailed wide right. It was one of two breakaway opportunities in the first half the Lady Falcons could not convert leaving the B-C 1-nil lead in tact going into the second frame.
The Lady Bearcats got a couple of shots off in the 43rd and 45th minute that both went right of the goal, but McDaniel made sure the third shot hit pay dirt. She launched a rocket from 20 feet outside the box that found the upper left corner of the net to give B-C a 2-nil lead.
The win gives Brookland Cayce a 1- 0 region record and a 3- 1 overall record. The Lady Bearcats continue region play with a match at Midland Valley March 8. Then they travel to Bluffton March 9 and Hilton Head March 10 and host Swansea March 13 before they return to region play when Chapin comes to The Cage March 16. The Lady Falcons fall to 0-1 and travel to Richland Northeast March 12 for a non- region battle. Then they get back into region play at Midland Valley March 16.