Lady Raiders celebrate Senior Night, down crosstown rival

By Maurice Patton

SPRING HILL – It was Senior Night for the Spring Hill girls soccer team, but the Lady Raider underclassmen made sure of a successful outcome Tuesday against visiting Columbia Central.

Freshmen Addison Alexander and Emma Robinson combined for three goals, with juniors Isabella Phillips and Autumn Bopp adding one each in a 5-1 victory – raising the team’s record to 3-2 in a COVID-, weather-ravaged season.

“We didn’t play well,” Spring Hill coach Robert Walker said. “It’s Senior Night; everybody’s giddy, you tend to try to do too much. It showed. But they answered, and they won. That’s all we can ask.”

Alexander scored both her goals in the opening half, each giving her team leads – the second after senior Lakeisha Rosales found the net and tied the game for the Lady Lions.

“They’re better than us,” Columbia Central coach Greg Szydlowski said after his team fell to 1-10. “They have more talent in every area, looking at the big picture.

“We had opportunities. We just didn’t finish, and that’s been a problem. We probably should have had three goals.”

Indeed, after Phillips extended a 2-1 halftime cushion in the 47th minute, Rosales banged a shot off the crossbar that would have put the visitors back within one, and after Bopp’s goal with 17 minutes remaining, sophomore Yeydi Carroscoza scored a goal that was wiped off when a Central player was judged to have knocked the ball out of Spring Hill goalkeeper Olivia Huffman’s grasp.

Veteran Spring Hill girls soccer coach Robert Walker instructs freshman goalkeeper Olivia Huffman during the waning moments of the Lady Raiders’ 5-1 Senior Night win Tuesday over Columbia Central. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

Two minutes later, Robinson tallied to give the hosts the final four-goal margin.

“We’re building,” Szydlowski said. “I love coaching these kids. They love to be coached, even when we’re down. Lakeisha’s going to play college soccer. Yeydi had a great night. (Sophomore) Destini Martinez is playing well, after a concussion and an ankle injury.”

For Spring Hill – which has had five games rained out and five games canceled or rescheduled because of a two-week quarantine – the outing was the first of three in three days. The Lady Raiders travel Wednesday to Tullahoma and Thursday to Marshall County for a pair of District 11-AA contests that will help determine seeding for the postseason tournament beginning Oct. 8.

“It was a big night for our five seniors,” Walker said, referring to Alison Chapple, Carey Cromer, Ashtin Dené, Lisa Mormile – who suffered a first-half injury to her right knee – and Angel Williams. “I hope Lisa’s injury wasn’t big.”

Central will hold its senior night festivities Thursday against visiting Shelbyville.

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