News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Decatur High’s Sally Adams controls the ball with her chest in front of Austin High defender Rachael Tuell on Tuesday.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Decatur High’s Sally Adams controls the ball with her chest in front of Austin High defender Rachael Tuell on Tuesday.

Third-ranked Decatur girls shut out rival Black Bears

By Bradley Handwerger · 340-2462

Megan Schmidt's goal 13 minutes into the second half proved to be the game-winner for Decatur as the Lady Red Raiders held off Austin 2-0 in a Tuesday night game at Ogle Stadium.

The win was the second straight for Decatur (6-5-3), getting the girls back on track after losing four in a row.

"It's a good win for us," said Decatur head coach Mike Pline, whose team is ranked third in Class 5A.

"They've got some good, talented girls. It's a healthy rivalry."

After a scoreless first half, which saw both Decatur and Austin (7-9) get off four shots apiece, it appeared the Lady Black Bears would get on the goal first.

Emily Reeve lofted a shot over Decatur goalkeeper Shannon Laughlin's head. The ball ricocheted off the bottom of the crossbar down onto the goal line, but never totally across.

Five minutes later, Decatur took advantage of its good fortune. Ellie Cole's free kick found Schmidt wide open behind the Austin defense. Schmidt took two touches, then sliced the ball past Austin goalkeeper Stephanie White.

"The first half was the typical nerves of playing your rival," Pline said. "We weren't making passes. We were pressing a little bit. The opportunity finally came."

Twelve minutes later, opportunity struck again for Decatur.

Sally Adams gathered in a long throw in from Georgia Gamble, took a couple of touches of the ball to her right, then belted the ball far-post past White.

"We had two mental errors," Austin coach Richie Simon said. "We let a mark get away from us. Hats off to Decatur. I've got nothing negative to say about them."

By the time Adams scored her goal, it was apparent that Decatur's high-pressure offense was taking its toll on the Austin defense. The Lady Black Bears appeared tired from defending against a constant attack.

"We got a little winded," Simon said.

"But I'm proud of my girls. They played tough and stayed in the game."

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