BOONVILLE — The Wilkes Central Lady Eagles and the Starmount Lady Rams met in Boonville in the battle of the unbeaten teams early in the conference season. The Lady Eagles handed the Lady Rams their first loss of the season and their first conference loss with a 5-1 victory.
“We did a great job in the first half, and we held Holly Swofford in check for the most part,” said Starmount head coach Dale Draughn. “We are only going to get better and learn from our mistakes and play our style of soccer.”
The Lady Eagles would lay claim to a 1-0 lead with 26:41 remaining in the first half off a goal from Carley Hamby off the assist of Holly Swofford. Wilkes Central peppered the Starmount defense and goalie Stephanie Brown throughout the first half, but the Lady Rams would only give up the single goal. At halftime, Wilkes Central had a 1-0 lead over Starmount.
In the second half, Starmount struck early when Hailey Gomez was fouled and a free kick was given to the Lady Rams. Isabel Najera sent a nice lofted ball into the upper left 90 to tie the game, 1-1.
As the game went on, Wilkes Central was able to take control. Swofford took over with two back-to-back goals and Kaylin Bang scored a goal of her own to create a 4-1 lead with 30:25 remaining in the game. Swofford recorded her hat trick with her third goal of the game with 17:11 for the final 5-1 score.
“I thought we played well in both halves, but Holly is a great player and she is going to get her shots on goal and find the back of the net,” said Draughn. “We still played tough and continued to fight to the end of the game. We have some injuries and lost Molly Maske for the season with a torn ACL in our second game of the season. I told the girls that they lost to the better team tonight, but we battled and did what we could but it was just not in the cards for us tonight and they are the best team we have faced all season long. They are solid at almost every position, but we have to learn from this.”
The loss drops the Lady Rams to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference.