After a scoreless first half in the soccer match Monday against Hixson High School, Grace Academy coach Gretchen Hammel gave her players an opportunity to figure out among themselves why they hadn't been successful. With the final outcome, it might be a tactic she decides to use more often.
Rachel Carter had two goals and an assist as the Lady Golden Eagles won 3-0, solving the riddle that had been the Lady Wildcats defense. Liz Mouw added two assists.
"I thought we played all right in the first half tactically," Hammel said. "What we weren't doing was winning the 50-50 balls, and that was something we knew we could correct.
"We also knew we could get some things going using the long ball on counters. We really tried to take advantage of that."
Carter scored on assists by Emily Clark and Mouw and assisted the final goal, taking a cross from Mouw and touching it to Sierra Nunley right in front of the net.
Nunley had a prior goal wiped off due to an offside call.
Hixson's best opportunity came on a Samantha Green shot early in the second half that was knocked away by a diving Abbey Bosco.
"We just got tired," Hixson coach Jeff Dean said. "We have to be able to put a full 80 minutes together to compete against teams like this. We played well, but we're young and we got caught ball-watching."
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.