By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
After 40 minutes of soccer action in the books, Southwestern went into the halftime break with a 3-0 lead over Somerset on Monday evening at the Plains.
Unfortunately, there would be no more soccer being played on this night, as first-year Somerset head coach Erin Mullins decided to forfeit the game, handing the victory to the home standing Lady Warriors.
Prior to the start of the second half, Mullins had a discussion with the officials to bring an end to the match, but before the match could officially end, the Lady Jumpers had to kick the ball in to begin the second half.
Somerset did just that, kicking the ball towards the sideline. Once the ball went outside the playing field, the officials blew the whistle to signal the end of the crosstown meeting.
Following the game, the Lady Jumper coach said that she didn’t want to play the game, a game that she wanted to cancel it in the first place. Mullins also went on to say that there was an absence of sportsmanship in the first 40 minutes of the match.
“I honored the Southwestern seniors because other teams had cancelled on them,” said Mullins. “We wanted to cancel this game, because in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean anything. Sportsmanship was something that this game lacked, and that’s why it ended the way it ended.”
Southwestern struck first in the match, as senior Brandi Abrams scored her first of two goals in the 17th minute. Abrams took advantage of a defensive mistake by Somerset to put the Lady Warriors out front, 1-0.
Abrams would score again less than two minutes later, finding the nets for her second goal of the evening. Abrams’ score gave Southwestern a 2-0 advantage over Somerset.
With less than two minutes left to play in the first half, it was only fitting for senior Tiffany Russell to deliver with a goal of her own on Senior Night. Russell has played the entire season with a torn ACL in one knee after tearing the ACL on her other knee last year.
Russell’s goal widened the gap to 3-0, which would be the final score of this crosstown match-up.
Prior to the game, six Southwestern players were honored for their hard work and dedication to the Lady Warrior soccer program – Katherine Citak, Nicole Upchurch, Kaylee Shepherd, Rachael Schoolcraft, Abrams, and Russell.
After an off season of injuries and other things, third-year Lady Warrior head coach Nick Stringer was glad to see all six of his seniors get a win in their final regular season home game at the Plains.
“Our seniors have been good for us all year,” told Stringer. “These girls care about each other. I’m glad that they got to come out here and play in one last regular season game. I was glad to see them play well and get a win. I think tonight was the first time that all six of them have been on the field at the same time this year. It was exciting for them and great for the fans to see.”
Southwestern, with the victory, moved to 11-4-1 on the season with the victory. The Lady Warriors will conclude their regular season on Thursday night, when they will travel to Berea.
Somerset, who fell to 9-8-1 with the loss to Southwestern, is scheduled to play their final game of the regular season on Thursday night at Richmond Model.