WHITE HOUSE Both Station Camp and White House High’s girls soccer programs trended on similar trajectories last season.
It only seemed fitting that the two squads opened the new campaign against one another, amidst higher expectations.
Although the visiting Lady Bison reeled off four goals in the second half to secure a 5-0 victory, both teams’ head coaches felt that the match was a good starting point for what each club hopes to achieve.
“We’ve got some things to work on,” Morand said. “We were able to shut them out, but they put a lot of pressure on us. Balls in the box coming in – those took a little while to clear.”
The Lady Bison are seeking to return to the Region 5-AAA Tournament final for the first time since 2010, when Station Camp won the region title before falling in the sectional round.
On the other side, the Lady Devils are searching for that breakthrough to the Class A-AA state tournament after three consecutive defeats in the sectional round. White House’s last trip to the state tournament came in 2012, when the Lady Devils reached the semifinals.
It explains why White House has six non-district matches against Class AAA teams on its schedule.
“We try to schedule our out-of-district matches as tough as we can,” White House head coach Mike Felzien said. “In doing so, we hope that it can expose some issues that we have, that we might not see against lesser competition. (Station Camp) exposed some things on us.”
Sophomore Michaela Nicholson collected her second career hat trick on Tuesday, scoring three of the five Lady Bison goals.
“I think it gave us the confidence to get the game going a little bit,” Nicholson said. “Once we got the first goal, and then the second and third goals (in the second half), then we started rolling and moving the ball better.”
Reigning Sumner County Player of the Year Madisson Davis created numerous opportunites for the Lady Devils in the first half, but the Lady Devil junior was kept off the scoreboard.
“Early on, we had two or three opportunities at the open net and just couldn’t bury them in the back of the net. Sometimes that happens in soccer. It could have changed the outcome of the game, but (Station Camp’s) a quality team and they deserved the win tonight.”
Station Camp senior forward Megan Brinkley – last year’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year on the All-County Team – was also unable to capitalize on her chances, though she did provide an assist in the match.
“(White House) pressured us pretty good, which is what we needed to work on,” Nicholson said. “I think they kept us on our heels all game and finished the game strong.”
Both teams are slated to meet again in the Ladies Tournament of Champions on Sept. 17 at McGavock. By then, both coaches hope their teams are trending in the same direction – toward deeper postseason runs – and they’ll both have learned from Tuesday’s opener.
“It’s a great test,” Morand said. “And that’s why we schedule (White House). Mike (Felzien’s) a great coach and they’re always going to play hard for 80 minutes. They’re athletic and they’ve got (junior forward Madisson Davis), who scored more than 40 goals last year, so they’ve got someone who’s going to pressure the defense.”
Reach Chris Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @CB_SumnerSports, and on Snapchat @cbrooksgne.