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Lady Trojans blank Lady Rebs, advance to title game

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lady Trojan Rachel Clifft focuses on a corner kick during the 5-0 win over Obion County on Thursday at DMS.
In a win and advance or lose and end the season contest against Obion County in the semifinal round of the Region 7 A-AA tournament, Dyersburg decided they would rather stick around for at least a couple more games.

The Lady Trojans -- after struggling to a 3-2 win over the Lady Rebs during the regular season that required a second-half comeback -- made sure on Thursday that any second-half heroics would not be needed.

Dyersburg took a commanding 3-0 lead at the half on Thursday before adding two additional goals in the final 40 minutes to cruise into Tuesday's championship game against Westview with a 5-0 shutout victory.

First-year Dyersburg coach Lisa Clifft was proud of the effort by her young squad afterward, feeling the team has improved steadily since the season began.

"By being young, we let our guard down in some games during the regular season and allowed teams to score on us," said Clifft. "Today, we came out focused from the very beginning and played the way we needed to and that shows we're getting better."

Dyersburg scored the opening goal of the contest when Katherine Keller's shot on goal was deflected into the net by a Lady Reb defender. The 1-0 lead stood until Maricela Leon found the back of the net off an assist from teammate Rachel Clifft for a 2-0 advantage.

Before the half was over, Keller made the most of another Clifft assist, scoring to lift the Lady Trojans in front for a commanding 3-0 lead at the half.

Things went from bad to worse for the Lady Rebs in the second half. The nerves shown by Dyersburg in the opening half turned into a calm confidence in the second.

The majority of the time the Lady Trojans held possession, and when Obion County did move the ball into position for shots at a goal, Dyersburg keeper Katie Windle (5 saves) swarmed to the ball to negate the effort.

The final two Lady Trojan goals came late in the half with time on the Lady Reb season dwindling away. Marielle Echavez scored with 2:35 left in the contest off an assist from teammate Cassandra Sollis, before scoring her second goal of the contest off an assist from Clifft in the final minute of the game.

"I wanted this so bad for the girls because these girls have worked so hard to get here," said Clifft.

Dyersburg advances to face rival Westview for the region title. The Lady Chargers defeated Covington 3-1 in overtime to secure a spot in the championship game. The two squads will square off at DMS on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m.

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