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Early lead pays off for Lady Dogs

Posted: March 20, 2012 - 11:31am  |  Updated: March 21, 2012 - 6:18pm
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Haley Oubre scores from well outside the box in Thomson's 3-2 victory over Hephzibah on March 15.  DAVID M. FORD/SPECIAL
DAVID M. FORD/SPECIAL
Haley Oubre scores from well outside the box in Thomson's 3-2 victory over Hephzibah on March 15.

The Lady Dogs of Thomson beat the visiting Lady Rebels of Hephzibah 3-2 at the Brickyard.

Thomson took an early lead in the March 15 game when Betty Jones sent a kick right up the middle to score 3:27 into the game.

“Coach Ruark wanted us to score a goal in the first five minutes,” Jones said. “Brea (Boutwell) kicked it over to me, and this time I was able to keep it on the ground and got the goal. It felt great.”

Thomson clung to their one goal lead throughout the first half. With the half time break approaching, Haley Oubre sent a perfectly arched high kick from well outside the box to drop right between the Hephzibah keeper’s up stretched hands and the rim of the goal to put the Lady Dogs up by two with 3:23 remaining in the half.

“That was an amazing kick,” head coach Jessica Ruark said. “She did what I’ve been telling her to do, which is, if she gets to the top of the 18 and has a shot, to take it.”

“Anna (Carrington) laid it off to me,” Oubre said following the game, “and I was way in front of the 18, and I just took my shot, and it cruised right into the top left corner. I was so excited.”

Leading by two going into the second half, the Lady Dogs picked up right where they’d left off. With 27:19 remaining in the game, Caitlyn Tam slipped the ball past the Hephzibah keeper from mere inches outside the goal to give Thomson their third goal of the game and a 3-0 lead.

“Haley passed it up to me,” Tam said, describing the goal after the game. “And then I actually kicked it off the side of my leg. Anna was coming in beside me to make sure it went in, and she ended up tripping and falling, and the goalie thought Anna had made the kick and she went in the opposite direction of the ball and it went in behind her. It felt great getting the goal.”

It was Tam’s second goal of the season, her other goal coming against Cross Creek in the Lady Dog’s previous home game.

Hephzibah did fight their way back into the game, scoring their first goal with 23:32 remaining in the second half. A hand ball inside the box was called against Thomson, and the resulting penalty kick gave Hephzibah their second goal with 10:24 to go. Tenacious defensive play by the Lady Dogs held the Lady Rebels scoreless for the remaining time, and the score stood in Thomson’s favor, 3-2 at the end of regulation play.

“It made me feel even better about my goal,” Tam said later, “knowing that it made the difference in keeping the score from being tied.”

Coach Ruark demonstrated some of her own tenacity in the game, coming to the defense of several of her players against what she felt were calls not being made against Hephzibah for highly physical play, and engaging in a number of exchanges with the game’s center referee. It was during one such discussion that Coach Ruark received a yellow card.

“It’s good that our coach really loves her team and is there for us when she knows that things are wrong and we are playing our hearts out,”

Betty Jones said later. “We love you, Coach Ruark!”

The Lady Dogs next faced Westside at home Tuesday. Their next home game is March 27 against Harlem. Game time is 5:30 p.m. at the Brickyard.

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