CSAS Football advanced to the TSSAA Class A State Semi-Finals with a convincing 4-0 victory over a young and promising Lakeland Prep team. The Lady Patriots take on Cumberland Gap on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at CCS.
Memphis-area Lakeland Prep traveled as far as any team in the field, and from the start, a size and strength advantage was evident. Of the roster of 18 players, 14 of them were freshmen. The other four were called up in eighth grade.
CSAS coach David Poss knew his team had a major advantage, but he also knew he would see them again in the future.
“As the game gets deeper and deeper, height and age are important factors.
This team… we’re going to be scared to see them in two years,” Poss said.
Although very disadvantaged, the young team held on. the Paatriots ladies controlled possession perfectly for the first eight minutes of the game, as they should have done, but the Lions defense was solid and prevented them from scoring. That was until CSAS star Cheyenne Frye took over 11 minutes and ended the drought with a resounding strike from 20 yards just above goalkeeper reach.
The defensive battle continued, and after a huge miscommunication between two CSAS players essentially cost them a goal, Lakeland Prep got their first real chance outside of an early deep shot that never went down. really lucky to get in. After a great shot on goal and a subsequent save from goalkeeper Gemma Nichols, a chance for a rebound was given to the Lions. Unfortunately for the Lions, they couldn’t get anything out of it and the score remained 1-0.
The Lions kept up their valiant effort on D, but the Lady Patriots’ powerful offense couldn’t be contained the whole time. With 11 minutes left in the half, in an impressive play, Taylor Sabo found Ella Hurst for a quick score through the defense from the top of the box. The front line trio of Sabo, Hurst and Frye showed up throughout the game.
“They work really well together. Ella and Cheyenne are dangerous all over town because they read to each other, and Taylor is that third piece. They move around sometimes, but they always seem to understand where the other is supposed to be,” said Poss.
CSAS had nothing to be ashamed of leading 2-0 before the break, having faced Lakeland Prep’s best shot, and things got more lopsided in the final 40 minutes. Although they still only scored two goals, it was much more obvious that CSAS were in control of the game.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Zeva Phillips scored a goal worthy of the Sports Centre’s Top 10. On a corner from the left side, Phillips tried to curve the ball into the area for a header from one of his teammates. Instead, Phillips shocked everyone, including herself, and curled it inside the goalkeeper into the net.
Shortly after, in the 59th minute, Ella Hurst got involved again. This time she worked her way through the defense to the top of the box where she then struck a magnificent strike past the goalkeeper for what was ultimately an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
Although his team scored four times and controlled the ball, Poss didn’t think his team was on their A-Game. He expected the score and thought they could have done a lot more.
“We are a team that can score goals. We have a lot of options that can score goals and when they work well together they are a bit more dangerous than they were today. I almost felt like we had to push ourselves today. Offensively we have to go back to what got us here in the first place and that is the short game and looking for divisions. said Poss.
CSAS is now looking forward to a state semi-final game at 6:30 tomorrow with hopes for the prize of a state title.
CSAS 2 2 – 4
PREP LAKELAND 0 0 – 0
GOALS: Ella Hurst 2, Cheyenne Frye 1, Zeva Phillips 1 (CSAS)