Lady Cavaliers win county rivalry match 2-1
Southern Lee scored twice in the first 18 minutes and that was enough, barely, for the Lady Cavaliers to beat county rival Lee County 2-1 in the first leg of the Brick City rivalry on the soccer pitch Friday night at Cavalier Stadium.
Vicky Monroy slammed home a bouncing cross by Yusimar Gonzalez to put the Lady Cavaliers ahead in the fourth minute. Southern Lee made it 2-0 later in the half when Alondra Aveldaez scored, poking another Gonzalez pass into the net.
Lee County, going for its first victory of the season, controlled stretches of the second half. The Lady Jacket effort paid off when Jill Davis launched a 30-yard drive from near the right sideline just under the crossbar making it 2-1 Lady Cavs with a little under four minutes to play.
The Lady Jackets earned a corner kick, and brought 10 players forward, in the last 60 seconds, but couldn't find a tying goal.
While the finish was tense, the start of the match, and breaking out to a 2-0 lead, was exactly what Southern Lee head coach Jason Burman likes to see.
"When we don't play well, this year it's been because of slow starts," Burman said.
"We came out and played head," he said. "We were ready to go from the first minute. I could tell from warm-ups. Even when we warm-up well, it's important for us. It was big for us to focus and be ready from the start."
Lee County pushed the game into the Lady Cavalier end and a quick countering rush, led by the speed of Gonzalez and Monroy, gave the Lady Cavs the opening goal. Gonzalez raced down the left side before sending a low ball across the penalty box. Monroy, the defending Player of the Year in the Cape Fear Valley Conference, came in on the run and put the ball into the back of the net.
Lady Cavalier hustle and possession in midfield led to the second goal. Monroy and Gonzalez kept the attack going, with Gonzalez sliding a pass into the left side of the Jacket box and Aveldaez getting to it to poke a rolling shot by the keeper.
Lee County held the Lady Cavaliers from there and put together most of the offensive chances, with a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal in the second half. Forward Allegra Hogan created attacking chances and center midfielder Sarah Van Steen put the most shots on goal for Lee County, including nailing the post with a 25-yard drive late in the first half.
Jill Davis, who's accepted a scholarship to play at High Point starting next school year, moved from center defense to an attacking position in the final minutes. Her goal was hardly one of Lee County's best attacks. It came out of nowhere as Davis chased down the ball far along the right side and her long shot found the target.
Southern Lee keeper Angie Estevez made eight saves. Micaela Schlott made six saves for the Lady Jackets.
Lee County has three matches left to its season: hosting Athens Drive Monday at 6:30 p.m., then playing at Holly Springs Wednesday and hosting Southern Lee Friday.
Southern Lee (8-6-1, 6-4-0) is in position for a state tournament berth but will be looking to improve its seed with two CFVC matches this week.
The Lady Cavaliers will host Overhills on Senior Night Monday at 7 p.m. Overhills beat Southern Lee 5-2 on March 27. The Lady Cavs are slated to play at Gray's Creek Wednesday night.