It was the first foray into regular season play on Saturday, Aug. 16 for Coach Dave D’Avignon and his North Adams Lady Devils varsity soccer squad as they ventured into Clermont County to provide the competition for the Bethel-Tate Lady Tigers. Unfortunately for the local girls, it wasn’t a fruitful trip as the Lady Tigers came from behind and handed their visitors a 3-1 defeat.
Offense will be a strength of the Lady Devils in 2014 but on Saturday they were contained to just the single score.
“Our girls put good pressure on their goalie,” said Coach D’Avignon. “We had several chances to score, but our shots went high and wide.”
Visiting North Adams struck first on Saturday after the two sides had played almost 15 minutes of scoreless soccer. Sophomore Kitasha Mesmer made a perfect pass off the right side to Cati Butler and Butler did the rest, knocking it home from inside the goal box for a 1-0 Lady Devils lead.
After almost 16 more scoreless minutes, the Lady Tigers evened the score. Senior Michelle Cornelius scored unassisted on a low, hard point blank shot that scooted by North Adams freshman goalie Madee Shipley to tie the game at 1-1 which is how the first half ended.
It was Cornelius striking again just over 10 minutes into the second half when she managed to maneuver into an unmarked position in front of the goal, get possession, and boot one home to give her team a 2-1 advantage.
With 13:14 left to play, Cornelius got the magical “hat trick” when she arched a rainbow shot from about 25 yards out that found its way into the net, giving the Lady Tigers a 3-1 lead. The Bethel-Tate defense and goalkeeper then did their job the rest of the way, keeping the Lady Devils off the board and grabbing the season-opening victory.
“We had three fullbacks missing today due to sickness or injury and another slowed by a bruised rib, so we sort of had a makeshift defense out there,” commented Coach D’Avignon. “But even so, we’ve got to do a better job of finishing our shots. We have some good players on the front line and it will come around.”
“Today was a hard-working evenly played game but the hat trick was just too much to overcome.”
The Lady Devils will take the field again today when the task gets no easier. North Adams will be on the road again, traveling to Fayetteville to battle the Lady Rockets in their first Southern Hills Athletic Conference contest. On Saturday evening, North Adams will board the bus again, traveling to Albany Alexander in non-league play.