published Friday, September 9th, 2011

McMinn wins on late Ward goal

CLEVELAND, Tenn.—McMinn County junior Haley Ward has a knack for hitting big shots—especially against Cleveland.

During basketball season, her late-game 3-pointer broke a tie against the Lady Raiders and propelled McMinn to a region semifinal victory. Thursday night, in soccer, her late goal gave the Lady Cherokees a 1-0 victory in their District 5-AAA opener.

That was coach David McDonald's first win over Cleveland as girls' coach.

Ward's goal in the 73rd minute came off a feed from Arielle Hansford and was the junior's first-ever goal against Cleveland.

"This is just a big step up for us," Ward said. "We feel like if we can beat a team like Cleveland, we can play with and beat anybody.

"Arielle gave me a pass and I got the opportunity to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and I made the shot."

McMinn is 3-4 with losses to strong teams: Baylor, Chattanooga Christian, Christian Academy of Knoxville and Maryville.

"We always feel like this is a game that could go either way," McDonald said. "We'll take this victory, though; we've taken some beatings this year, but these girls have never quit and they've kept fighting."

The Lady Cherokees controlled the first 15 minutes of play, only to watch the Lady Raiders dominate the rest of the first half. McMinn goalkeeper Nikki Hayes, who had eight saves, made a diving stop of a Hannah Ellis shot late in the half.

Both teams had a number of futile opportunities in the second half. Cleveland (1-4-1) had two dangerous chances in the final minute but missed on both crosses.

"The potential is there for this team to be good," Cleveland coach Andy Byrd said. "I think the girls have to recognize they can be good and chip away at that goal."

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.