Through five games this season, the Motlow women’s soccer team has yet to concede a goal, including in a 2-0 victory over Southwest Community College in Tullahoma on Friday night.
Offense was sparse for the Lady Bucks (5-0, 1-0) in the conference matchup on Friday night at East Middle School. Somehow though, Motlow connected with a score 20 minutes into the first half, before adding a late goal in the second period to garner the victory.
The Lady Bucks fired off just six shots on the night, four of which were on frame. Southwest had 17 shots, eight of which were on goal.
Friday night’s matchup also featured a chippie battle between both schools, as the teams combined for four cards, including a late red card. As time expired, the two teams scuffled, resulting in a red card for Southwest’s Juliane Alcantara.
Following that win, Motlow Head Coach Andy Lyon delivered a message to his team. Moving forward, he noted that he wanted to see his team win with class and not get dragged down into a spat with an opposing team.
“I just reminded my players what we expect and reminded them that there are people who are always watching us,” Lyon said. “We reminded them how we want to see them represent Motlow and how they present themselves. There are young players here who are impressionable and they watch and they pick up habits. We always want to encourage the right habits for them to pick up on and the right way to play and the right way to win.”
While struggling for shots, Motlow was able to grab the lead near the midpoint of the first half on Friday night. After tracking down the ball and grabbing it away from Southwest’s defense, Kyah McGee landed the first goal of the night for the Lady Bucks 20 minutes into the opening period.
In the second half, Motlow scored again, this time coming off an own goal by the Lady Saluqis. Motlow was able to push deep inside Southwest territory.
On that possession, a ball was fired toward the keeper’s box, which deflected off a Saluqis’ defender and into the back of the net 15 minutes into the second half, giving Motlow a 2-0 advantage.
While the offense was limited, the Lady Bucks were forced to be solid on the defensive end. Lyon thought this team played decent on that end, but not particularly great, despite preserving the shutout.
“I think we did OK, but I think we can be a little bit wiser defensively,” Lyon said. “We are still biting a little bit. We are still a little bit too eager to win the ball straightaway instead of waiting until the right opportunity. I can’t fault the way they played, the way that they fought for everything and the heart that they showed. That’s difficult to coach.”
Following Friday night’s matchup, Lyon added that there is plenty of room for improvement. He credited Southwest Tennessee, but noted that his team needs to improve in certain areas moving forward.
“I didn’t think we had our best game in all honesty. I think we can play much better than that,” Lyon said. “I think Southwest worked the ball really well and they possessed the ball really well. They were brave and I don’t think we were quite as brave with the ball. So, we were chasing a lot. We were counter attacking and at times, we looked a little disorganized. We obviously won the game, which was pleasing, but we definitely have a lot to work on.”
Following Friday night’s matchup, Motlow will next play host to Dyersburg Community College at Franklin County High School on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.