Improving NK tests Grafton
New Kent’s defense weathered most of an assault waged on the Lady Trojans’ goal by Grafton’s Clippers. But a few shots found the mark as the visitors posted a 3-0 Bay Rivers District soccer win last Wednesday on New Kent’s field.
The outcome, however, proved to be a vast departure from previous meetings with the high-powered Clippers.
“Last year, they put in 13 goals on us, and this year they’ll probably finish one or two in the district,” said Lady Trojan coach Chad Honey-cutt, whose team fell to 1-2-1 (4-2-2).
“We played hard and I know our girls are disappointed, but our defense stood up, especially Meghan Gumbs in goal who had a terrific game,” he said.
Gumbs repelled 17 shots Grafton launched at the hosts’ net. But with 26 Clipper shots on goal for the game filling the air, it was only a matter of time before something squeezed past the senior keeper.
Just beyond the midpoint of the first half, Grafton’s Jackie Brown took a pass from teammate Brittany Hammons and lofted a shot over Gumbs to break the scoreless deadlock. Then with six minutes left before halftime, the visitor’s Rachel Hembrecht rolled in a shot to open a 2-0 advantage. Brown scored the third and final goal on an open shot 13 minutes into the second half.
New Kent’s offense, meanwhile, got few opportunities to challenge Clipper keeper Annie Dershem. The Lady Trojans’ best scoring chance came at the 19-minute mark in the second half on Casey Spencer’s direct free kick from just outside the Clipper goal area. Dershem easily handled the shot for her lone save of the game.
“Our goal this season is to finish fifth in the district,” Honeycutt said. “The way we played tonight, I think we can do it.”