Sept. 10, 2012 — A win might be a win, but a win against one of the region’s top programs on its home field, that’s more than just a win.
Last Thursday evening, the Rowan County Lady Vikings soccer team had its statement game of the season when it defeated the Russell Lady Devils on its home turf, 3-0.
Rowan County Head Coach Randy Wallace spoke about his team’s big win, saying it was a definite boost in terms of how his team is viewed in the region.
“Russell is a tough team and they have had a good program for a long time,” Wallace said. “Anytime you can go into a hostile environment like that and come out with a win, it definitely means a lot in regards to how you are viewed in the region.”
If there was any doubt headed as to whether the Lady Vikings are a legitimate threat for this year’s regional crown, it was all but eliminated in the early goings.
It took the Lady Vikes all of 35 seconds to make a big impression when Hannah Neeper connected on the opening goal of the game.
Leading 1-0, Rowan’s defense took the early offense as an incentive to limit Russell’s chances at a goal.
Solid defensive performances were seen all around, including smothering performances from Haley DeVaney, Hannah Bandura, Nicole Plank, Bailee Pennington and Montanna Minor.
Ashley Burton provided the protection inside the net when Russell did get its shots, holding the Lady Devils to zero goals on the evening.
Walllace said his team’s performance on defense was a vital component of the victory.
“Our defense played extremely well last night holding a very good team to just a few shots on goal,” Wallace said. “When they had opportunities to score, Ashley (Burton) was there to make some very nice saves. In regards to our success, it is our defense that really makes the difference. When we put the pressure on, it helps to create offensive opportunities, and we capitalized on those tonight.”
Rowan County went on to score twice more in the contest, with goals by Ally Hackney and Deanna May. Helping with those goals were Haley Devaney and Kara Lewis, who picked up the game’s two assists.
Following the win, the Wallace and his Lady Vikings returned home last night for a contest against Maysville St. Patrick after press time.
There will have more on this game in Friday’s edition of sports.
Grant Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.