By Josh Scott,
If one has been keeping up with the 2019 Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats on the soccer pitch, they would know that there’s two things to know about the team: they score in bunches on most nights and that they have many different options when doing so.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the White County Lady Warriors found out both of those things the hard way.
White County from Class AAA looked to come in and somehow out-athlete the Lady Wildcats, but soccer is a game that is much more than who has the better athlete and Livingston made that clear early and often.
It took hardly any time for Kaitlin Huntley to get on the board with a pair of goals within the first few munites of the game to give Livingston a 2-0 lead over the Lady Warriors.
What seemed like seconds later, Jada Hammock and Lilly Copeland found the back of the net to push the lead to 4-0 in favor of the Lady Wildcats.
With the match way out of hand early, Coach David Sadler II shifted rotations to allow many faces to take over new positions during the contest. Three of those new faces scored their first goal of their career, as Emma Sadler struck from the right side to push the lead to 5-0 just before halftime.
To open the second half, Abby Vaughn pushed deep into White County territory and scored her first career goal to make the score now 6-0, and if it was ever in doubt about how this one would end up, a 6-0 score midway through the second half answered those doubts.
Late in the half, Maylee Bilbrey put another Lady Wildcats score on the board, and to finish off the attack, Amelia Scarlett scored her first career goal to give Livingston their final total of 8 on the evening.
Tori Hinds and Emma Dulworth combined to give up no goals to White County, as Hinds had 5 saves on the evening to Dulworth’s 10.
The assist column was full, as Hammock would have two, Copeland one, Vaughn one, Bilbrey one, Averie Chaffin one, and Estie Holman with two.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, Livingston hosted 2018 Region 3-AA champion Anderson County in a possible 2019 Region 3-AA tournament preview game.
After easily handling Scott County to open the year, a win over Anderson County would have the Lady Cats sweep the two best teams in the opposing region, and with Cumberland County also possibly looming, the importance to win this match and play well was unquestionable.
Much like Tuesday night, this match was never really in doubt. Where Tuesday night the Lady Cats used many faces to defeat White County, this match was the Huntley and Harris show, as Kaitlin Huntley would record a hat trick – three goals, on the evening to lead the Lady Cats’ scoring attack; however, not far behind her was the talented Jena Harris with a brace, two goals, to give Livingston 5 for the night.
Anderson County would push hard trailing and would be able to sneak two shots past Tori Hands, but it wouldn’t matter as Livingston would hold on to take the win over Anderson County, 5-2.
Lilly Copeland and Averie Chaffin again got on the stat sheet with two assists apiece, while Hinds had one of her better nights, stopping 22 of the 24 shots on goal by Anderson County.
On the week, Livingston outscored their opponents by a margin of 13-2 and you don’t have to be a math major to know that that means they are playing good soccer.
“The girls have really turned it on these past few weeks,” explained Coach Sadler. “We just added a game with Cookeville to the schedule, so I am anxious to see where we stand and if there are any adjustments that need to be made heading into tournament time.”
Livingston Academy (8-1-3, 3-1 District 6AA) will come back to action after taking last week off and take on Cookeville today, Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at Livingston Academy. After that, Livingston will begin play in the District 6-AA tournament next week.
The Lady Wildcats will enter as the number 2 seed at Upperman. Livingston will “kick-off” tournament play against DeKalb County on Tuesday, Oct. 15. A win there, combined with a Cumberland County win would set up a huge District 6-AA Championship match between Livingston Academy and Cumberland County on Thursday, Oct. 17 for what would be the second straight season.