The Alcovy Lady Tigers varsity soccer team put up a good fight in their Class AAAAAA state playoff opener, but the Kennesaw Mountain Lady Mustangs were just too much for the Lady Tigers as they defeated Alcovy 8-0 Wednesday at Kennesaw Mountain.
With the loss, the Lady Tigers finish the season with a 7-9 record, 4-3 in Region 4-AAAAAA. The Mustangs improved to 12-6-1, and 8-1 in region play.
“They (the girls) never gave up,” Alcovy coach Anna Hebert said. “I told them we had a goal and we wanted to play a full 80 minutes. They hustled and they played hard. Kennesaw Mountain is a good team — they’re very impressive. They pass well and they’re, clearly, very comfortable with each other.”
That comfort level was evident from the opening kick as the Mustangs spent most of the match in Alcovy’s defensive zone.
Mustang midfielder Tayler Hartrampf put Kennesaw on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the match as she drilled a corner kick past Alcovy keeper Katie Barton for a 1-0 lead.
Seventy-six seconds later, Hartrampf was tackled in the goalie box by Barton and awarded a penalty kick. She converted the penalty and put the Mustangs up 2-0 with 36:54 to play in the half.
Kennesaw’s Vannah Moreland added another goal at the 35:28 mark, pushing the Lady Mustang’s lead to 3-0 with less than 10 minutes gone in the game.
Alcovy’s defense played better soccer the rest of the half — allowing only two more goals in the period — but the Lady Mustangs were the superior side.
Hartrampf completed her hat-trick with 17:54 left in the half as she slammed a corner kick from Madeline Monroe into the back of the net for a 4-0 lead.
Fourteen minutes later, Hartrampf scored her fourth first-half goal on a nice assist from defensive specialist Elizabeth Spaulding, putting the Lady Mustangs up 5-0 going into the locker room.
Unfortunately, Alcovy had two defensive lapses that led to Mustang goals in the second period.
Senior forward Cheyenne Golden caught Alcovy flat-footed as she drilled an unassisted goal past Barton with 37:43 to play in the match, extending Kennesaw’s lead to 6-0.
Less than three minutes later, junior forward Emma Parks took another excellent corner kick from Monroe and headed the ball past Barton for a 7-0 lead.
Barton did make a nice stop for Alcovy, denying Golden in the 18-yard box with 22:50 left in the match.
Kennesaw closed out the scoring at the 9:50 mark as forward Jasmin Lanuza ran past three Alcovy defenders, gathered the loose ball and scored unassisted for the final 8-0 margin of victory.
So dominant were the Mustangs that Alcovy didn’t have its first shot on goal until 6:20 remained in the match.
Still, Hebert was already looking forward to next year.
“We graduate six seniors, but I’m excited about the players who return and I’m excited about our ninth and 10th graders,” Hebert said.