By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
BRYSON CITY – Storm Ledford, an EBCI tribal member at Swain, got a hat-trick to lead the Lady Maroon Devils over the Lady Braves 3-0 in a game at Swain on Monday, April 27. Cherokee was playing with a new coach, Kevin Promi, as former head coach Gary Ledford resigned for personal reasons.
“Today was our first game, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen these girls play, said Coach Primo. “We told them before the game that it is a privilege to play for the school, but it is an honor to play and represent the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.”
He was very pleased with the Lady Braves’ performance. “What they did today was remarkable. I’m very proud of these girls. A couple shots didn’t go our way which would have changed the game. We pressed up, and they beat us on the counter-attack. They beat us 3-0, but up until that second goal, it was pretty close. I’m very proud of these girls and their effort.”
The first half was tight with both teams playing nice defense. Cherokee came out gunning and had some early chances. At the 36:23 mark, Sidnie Yanez, Lady Braves midfielder, sent a blazing cross pass to Avery Guy who got off a hard shot that was just saved by Amy West, an EBCI tribal member who was Swain’s goalkeeper for the first half.
Several minutes later, Swain came down the field and Lilia Sauza shot the ball into the net from less than five yards out, but the goal was nullified due to an offsides call.
Near the midpoint in the first half (20:59), Ledford got her first goal of the match on a hard shot about 15 yards out from the left side that hit the right top of the net.
Yanez had a wonderful 65-yard run with the ball at the 6:22 mark, but her shot at the end sailed just wide right.
In the half, Cherokee had two shots with one on goal and Swain had eight shots with three on goal. The Lady Braves had two corner kicks and Swain had none.
The Lady Maroon Devils came out quickly in the second half and got off three shots in the first two minutes, but Cherokee’s defense held and Tysha Sampson, Lady Braves goalkeeper, made some outstanding saves in the match particularly in the second half.
Ledford worked in for her second goal of the match at the 35:49 mark with an almost identical goal to her first, but this one was from the right side.
Eight minutes later, Sauza took a shot from 2 yards out, but Sampson gobbled it up denying her a goal. Five minutes later, the exact same scenario occurred.
Down 2-0, Cherokee continued to press the ball up the field and began to create space near the Swain goal. Alyssa Land, Lady Braves forward, had several nice runs up the right side, and at the 14:37 mark worked her way inside the box and shot the ball which was deflected by the Swain goalkeeper just past the far post.
Ledford got her third goal of the match with 3:23 left on a short kick from 5 yards out.
Land had another hard shot with just 11 seconds left, but that one was saved by the Swain goalie as well.
Cherokee had four corner kick opportunities in the second half to Swain’s three. But, Swain got off more shots (10, 8 on goal) than Cherokee (2, 2 on goal).
To view or purchase photos from this match, visit: https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/SOCCER/Lady-Braves-2015/At-Swain-April-27/i-wDcTKLw