PINETOPS – The Tarboro Lady Vikings played sluggish in the first half against the SouthWest Edgecombe Lady Cougars Monday. Tarboro head coach Leshaun Jenkins put them up to a challenge in the second by challenging them to achieve several goals during the half. The Vikings responded and were able to defeat the Cougars 13-0.
Jenkins wasn't pleased with the way his team came out and played to begin the game so he put them up to a challenge at halftime.
"I challenged the girls at halftime, because they were playing very sluggish in the forty minutes of the match and that is a little of my fault," Jenkins said. "They were not winning the balls that I know they should've won. I didn't want to run the score up, but I wanted my team to have a challenge within the game to make them work harder. Trying to come out and play after having four days off doesn't work and it showed today."
Jenkins challenged Shayla Thorne to score three goals in the second half and challenged his team to score on two corner kicks. Thorne scored the three goals, which gives her 20 for the season. The team didn't score on the corner kicks though.
Jenkins did have a couple of girls step up and score late in the match that haven't scored this season. Anna Johnson and Anna Keck Moore both scored midway through the second half.
Julie Hayes had another outstanding performance as well. She netted three goals which gives her 23 goals for the season. This is the first time in Tarboro girls soccer that two players have scored 20 plus goals in the same season, which gives Jenkins something else to be pleased with his team about.
Chandler Harris also scored two goals and got an assist in the first half on one of Hayes' goals.
Tarboro led 5-0 at halftime. Hidia Shaw scored Tarboro's first goal about eight minutes into the game when the ball deflected off of Cougars goalie Mychaela Collins hands and Shaw punched it in. The Cougars defense stepped up their defensive pressure and held Tarboro scoreless for the next 14 minutes, before Harris scored her first goal of the match. She dribbled around a SouthWest defender around the right side and kicked the ball past Collins to give Tarboro a 2-0 lead. Harris usually plays defense, but Jenkins was not pleased with the way his offense was playing and moved Harris up front and moved Thorne back to defense.
"Shayla just didn't look inspired in the first half on offense so I moved her to defense," Jenkins said. "She stepped it up in the second half and had a good performance."
With eight minutes left before halftime, Carmen Guilford scored the Vikings third goal of the match, when she took control of the ball when it deflected off of a Cougars defender. Two minutes later, Harris assisted Hayes for the VIkings fourth goal. With a little over a minute left before halftime, Harris took a shot and it bounced off of a SouthWest players leg and Hayes took the rebound and put the ball in the back of the net to give Tarboro a 5-0 lead at halftime.
Thorne scored her first goal of the match three minutes into the second half to give Tarboro a 6-0 lead. Then Thorne scored another goal six minutes later. She also had an assist to Johnson who scored with nine minutes left in the match.
"I thought we played better in the second half," Jenkins said. "The girls stepped up to the challenges and worked hard. I was proud of the way they played overall though. We just started out slow."
The Cougars defense seemed to get tired and the Vikings were able to score seven more times in the second half.
Collins had 22 saves in the match.
"I was pleased with the way my girls came out and played," Cougars head coach Richard Spence said. "We played a good first half. My team is young and we are still making some mistakes which comes from the being young. We are getting better though. If everyone works together we will be able to build for next season, because we are only losing one senior."
Tarboro defeated the Cougars 11-0 the first time the two teams met this season.
The Vikings are looking to make the playoffs this year. They have one more conference game left in the regular season against Kinston. The two teams tied 2-2 the first time they met this season. With a win Tarboro will be in second place in the conference and possibly get an automatic bid to the playoffs. Tarboro will host Kinston Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Indian Lake Sports Complex.
"We have Kinston coming in Wednesday which will be a tough game," Jenkins said. "We have the advantage, because we are use to playing on the bigger field at home and I believe that will help us. We should have beat them the first time, but we missed a penalty kick in regulation and ended in a tie."
SouthWest will be back in action Wednesday when they host the Beddingfield Lady Bruins at 5 p.m.