Chandler Smith goal wins for Lady Hurricanes

Chandler Smith goal wins for Lady Hurricanes

September 7th, 2012 by The Commercial Appeal in Sports - Preps

East Hamilton's Chandler Smith (3) passes to teammate Nicole Ford (9).

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

In Thursday's match against District 6-A/AA rival Arts & Sciences, East Hamilton coach John Millard moved senior Chandler Smith to various positions on the field.

With the game on the line, there was only one position that mattered -- and Smith was right there.

The Lady Hurricanes midfielder headed in a cross with about 10 minutes remaining, and the state's seventh-ranked team rallied to edge the Lady Patriots 2-1.

It was East Hamilton's second district win, while CSAS falls to 2-1 in league play.

"Chandler was just at the right spot at the right time," Millard said. "She made a heads-up, aggressive play."

It was the Lady Patriots (3-3) who took the early advantage, when Maggie Fraser scored on a penalty kick. From that point on, the Lady Hurricanes started to command possession, although they were able only to tie on a goal by freshman Nicole Ford, assisted by Peyton Rauth.

The Lady Patriots missed out on a potential opportunity to take the lead in the second half when keeper Meghan Lively mishandled a shot by Fraser. The ball bounced right to Shelby Cornelius, whose follow attempt just slid wide of the goal.

"I don't feel we did the technical things we needed to win," CSAS coach David Poss said. "We're always going to play with heart and I know we'll be able to step up and play a team more skilled than us, but we didn't do the technical stuff. I think we're as good as that team, but they're conditioned to win games like this and we're aren't, yet."

In the 70th minute, Danielle Branham crossed the ball into Smith, who ran in front of the goalkeeper and headed the ball in the goal for what became the game-winner.

"I felt the response to their penalty kick was excellent," Millard said. "We got the goal and had them on their heels the rest of the first half; it was unlucky we didn't get more. More than anything, I liked our response and two tough games this week.

"I was proud we found a way to keep battling. We deserved the second goal, and I'm glad we found a way to get it."