Different Approach: Lady Cats tweak line-up to get more offense, but fall to North Lamar, 5-2

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 10, 2008 - Sulphur Springs coach Martin Bryant made a few tweaks to his starting lineup to try to inject some more offense into the Lady Cats before Friday's soccer match with the North Lamar Pantherettes.

The offensive output improved, but not the final result as the Lady Cats fell 5-2 at Gerald Prim Stadium.

Bryant moved senior D'Kota Hutchings from a midfielder to a striker position, and she responded with both of the Lady Cats' goals. But, North Lamar had four different players find the back of the net as they put 22 shots on goal.

SSHS goalkeeper Macy Hurley made seven saves in the first half to keep the Lady Cats within striking distance, 2-0, at the break. The Lady Cats had five shots themselves in the first half, but were unable to cash in.

Hutchings twice sent balls wide after entering the 18-yard box, and Ana Sanchez had a breakaway attempt that was redirected by North Lamar keeper Brytnie Miller, who charged off her line.

Hurley, meanwhile, had two saves on point-blank shots about a minute apart midway through the first half, made a kick save two minutes later and a lunging stop of a breakaway shot at the 12:30 mark.

North Lamar, though, was able to score on a nice assist from Blake Scott to Callie Sugg 21 minutes into the match. Then, the Pantherettes took a 2-0 lead with 5:16 left in the first half when Casey Lewis sent a high-arcing, 30-yard shot that went over the leaping reach of Hurley.

North Lamar made the score 3-0 just 1:15 into the second half when Devin Wright controlled a rebound shot that ricocheted off a Sulphur Springs defender and plugged it into the net.

Hutchings finally put the Lady Cats on the scoreboard when she ran onto a ball sent ahead by Bonnie Grafton, dribbled it about 20 yards, then shot it from left-to-right past the NL keeper from 12 yards out. That injected some life into the Lady Cats, but NL came right back with a momentum-killer.

Wright scored her second goal of the match when she was the recipient of a perfect pass from Rachel Edwards, who had won the ball near the top of the 18-yard box. Edwards dribbled right, then fired a pass to Wright, who was standing unmarked near the far post, for an easy goal.

That made the score 4-1, but Hutchings came back with another goal following a free kick by Brittany Lamphere. The NL goalie knocked Lamphere's free kick into the air and Hutchings came flying in from the right side to head it in and cut the deficit to 4-2 at the 15:47 mark of the second half.

North Lamar put the game out of reach, though, 3 1/2 minutes later when Abbi Becker ran onto a loose ball after Hurley had to come off her line to stop a shot.

NL also won the JV match, 5-0.

The Lady Cats (1-9-1 overall, 0-2 in District 16-4A) will be back in action on Monday when they travel to Mount Pleasant for another district contest. The JV match will start at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity to kickoff at about 7 p.m.

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