Rams hand Huskies their first defeat

By Dale Draughn - For The Tribune and Yadkin Ripple

WEST JEFFERSON — The Starmount Lady Rams did something that no other previous women’s team has done this season. The Rams beat the undefeated Ashe County Lady Huskies on the soccer field. The Lady Rams defeated the Lady Huskies by a score of 1-0 in an end-to-end game with both defenses playing big.

Entering the game, Ashe County already had wrapped up the conference championship the night before defeating the Lady Eagles of Wilkes Central. The Rams knew going into the game they would be without two of their starters.

“I never made and issue of [missing two starters] and we played our usual game,” said Head Coach Dale Draughn. “Dalia and Amber did an excellent job in the goal tonight for us, but the whole team played extremely well and it was a total team win and a great one for the SHS Lady Rams soccer program.”

The Lady Rams and Lady Huskies were scoreless after the first half of play that saw both teams have good looks on goal, but neither team could put it in the back of the net. The Lady Huskies out shot the Lady Rams in this half by a count of 6 to 3. In the second half, the shots were a little more even as the Lady Rams out shot the Lady Huskies 7 to 5 with the Lady Huskies out shooting the Lady Rams for the game 11 to 10.

The Rams rose to the occasion and players stepped up and played very well. The thunder and rain came calling with 21 minutes left and the two teams left the field with the Lady Rams leading 1-0. After play resumed, the delay did not seem to phase the Lady Rams as they continued to take the fight to the Lady Huskies. The Lady Rams held on for a 1-0 win over the previously undefeated Lady Huskies.

“I am so proud of my team. We have had some injuries and a few bumps in the road, but they have stuck with me and their teammates through every minute of it. We have a different mentality about us and they are hungry. I have said it since we lost the three games in a row to Wilkes Central, West Wilkes and Ashe by 3-2 scores, I like where we are as a team and I really loved how we played team ball tonight and everyone stepped up,” said Draughn of his team’s performance.

“We missed Courtney (starting GK) and Jennifer (starting right fullback), but I told them before the game, protect your GK and they did. Ashe is a solid and well-coached team and I knew they would get their fair share of shots on the goal, but we weathered the storm in the first half and I switched GK in the second and put Amber in and stepped up even more to get the win. I am looking forward to having Courtney and Jennifer back on Monday, and we will have to check on Daniela who left the game in the second half after taking a hard fall.”

The win improves the Rams’ overall record to 13-6-1 and their conference record to 9-4-1. This year’s team holds the best overall and conference records of any team since the girls program began.

“I have told them and asked them what legacy do you want to leave on this program. We are looking forward to the first round of the state playoffs on Wednesday as we should be hosting it for the first time in the history of the program. I cannot say enough about my team and my staff,” said Draughn.

“They put up with me daily (and sometimes that is hard in its self) but from the start of the season I have seen what each player and this team could do and that is why I push them so hard in practice and they may leave not liking me but they are putting into play what we do at practice. I told them at the first of the season that practice should be the hardest part of your day and game day should be the funniest. I think they are having fun, but we are not finished yet!”

By Dale Draughn

For The Tribune and Yadkin Ripple

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