HENDERSON – This was the week circled for the Chester County girls’ soccer team this season. This week would decide the Eaglettes’ seed in the District 14 A-AA tournament.
After losing in overtime to Lexington Tuesday, Chester County could have lost focus. But the Eaglettes didn’t.
Junior Paige Pipkin scored a hat trick as Chester County beat McNairy Central 4-0 at Chester County on Thursday.
“We were hungry, and we wanted this one,” Chester County coach Jason Judd said. “We came out focused because we knew we wanted to line up opposite side of the bracket from Lexington, so we couldn’t see them until the finals.”
That overtime loss was put behind the team quickly as the Eaglettes scored two goals in the opening seven minutes.
Those two goals set the tone for the rest of the match. In the fourth minute, junior Lauren Austin scored off of an assist from senior Lauren Rogers.
Pipkin started her scoring three minutes later on a goal off of a rebound.
“We kept pushing and pushing,” Pipkin said. “We wanted to pressure and get up early with our attacking.”
McNairy Central was put on its heels after the first two goals, and it took time before the Lady Bobcats were back in attacking mode.
The midfield kept McNairy Central in the match, working to possess the ball. But with two minutes remaining before halftime, Pipkin scored her second goal for the 3-0 lead.
Chester County’s defense contained the Lady Bobcats’ attack, limiting them to three shots on goal in the match.
“Our defense has been our backbone,” Judd said. “We have done a good job all year limiting chances, and three is a good number.”
Pipkin’s final goal of the hat trick came with 10 minutes remaining in the match on a penalty kick.
“We just had to refocus after Tuesday,” Pipkin said. “We didn’t let our heads down, and we came in with more focus at practice on Wednesday.”
The win secures Chester County the No. 2 seed from the District 14 A-AA South Division, while McNairy Central will be the No. 3 seed. The Eaglettes will host a quarterfinal match in the district tournament.
Michael Odom, 425-9754