Kirk Childers knows if his Lexington girls’ soccer team doesn’t play to its potential in the games ahead, Tuesday’s victory won’t have meant a whole lot.
But Tuesday night, after more than 80 minutes of playing like it certainly did mean a lot, provided a moment for the Lady Tigers to celebrate and savor.
Hannah Bassham scored on a tap-in in extra time, giving Lexington a 2-1 win over rival Chester County. The host Lady Tigers clinched the top seed in their half of District 14A-AA.
“It was key for us to get that, but it really doesn’t mean much. What means more is the district tournament,” Childers said. “Now we’ve got ourselves in a nice spot. We’ve still got to give everything we’ve got, we’ve still got to perform, we’ve still got to come ready like we were tonight and hopefully get to the finals and see what happens then.
So excited was Bassham in the minutes immediately following her game-winner she got the chills.
“Oh man, it’s just the win,” Bassham said. “I don’t know. It’s just an amazing feeling. I was just trying to take it all in.”
Bassham scored early in Tuesday’s first half for a 1-0 lead, assisted by Molly Lewis. Lewis also sent in the corner kick for the game-winner. Both are sophomores.
“They’re special. They’re great players,” Childers said. “They have a lot of energy. Hannah’s just a bundle of energy. She’s always threatening, and she’s actually starting to really shine right now. She’s starting to show up and she’s starting to be that threat that we need her to be.”
Childers noted Lewis does a good job passing and Chandler Holmes has played well too, among others.
“We’ve had a lot of speed this year, and our defense has been really strong,” Bassham said. ” … We have good speed up top. Through the middle, we’ve been making good combinations this year.”
Chester County did not falter. Lexington had a couple shots deflect off a crossbar or post but not too many chances, and the visiting Eaglettes answered early in the second half. Lauren Rogers sent in a corner kick that Madelyn Miskelly hit cleanly into the goal.
Lexington appeared to have a breakaway with just minutes remaining in regulation and only the keeper there to defend, but Anslee West hustled to catch up and deflected the ball away with her foot.
“She saved us right there at the end,” Chester County coach Jason Judd said.
Chester County lost anyway, but Judd knows his team will be better for the experience.
“This team really tested us. It really tested us. It tested our resolve, it tested our well and the girls learned a lot about themselves tonight,” Judd said. “Even though we came up short, I was very pleased with the effort tonight.”
Judd knows his players, quiet after the game, were disappointed.
“I reminded them that last year at this point Lexington beat us 6-1 and then we went on a run to Murfreesboro,” Judd said, and then he winked. “So I’ll take this one.”
Craig Thomas, 425-9634