WHITE HOUSE The White House High School girls soccer squad has played 20 postseason matches over the last three seasons.
That familiarity didn’t automatically lead to comfort as the Lady Devils opened the District 9 A-AA Tournament with an 8-0 victory over visiting Huntland on Monday evening.
“It’s really nerve-wracking,” midfielder Sidney West – one of the three White House seniors (along with forward Brittney Breedlove and midfielder Kayla Patt) – said. “It’s more (nerves) for a senior. It’s scary that this could be our last game.”
West’s nerves surfaced once the start of the match grew closer. However, she wasn’t feeling the same on the way to the field.
“We all get real pumped about it,” West said. “On the way here, I was rocking.”
Those early nerves quickly subsided as Breedlove and sophomore forward Madisson Davis scored goals over the first three minutes, with Davis and freshman midfielder Mazie Burrow providing assists.
“It was good,” West said. “It made me relax. I know that all of us were pretty pumped to see the one on (the scoreboard).”
Freshman midfielder Leanna Nesbitt played a through-ball to Breedlove, resulting in another goal in the ninth minute, and Davis had her shot deflected midway through the half but deposited the rebound into the net.
Sophomore midfielder Madeline Hargrove scored the next two goals, taking advantage of a ball that the Lady Hornets couldn’t clear out of the box. Then, Hargrove poked a ball that Huntland sophomore goalkeeper Caylee McLennon couldn’t control into the net.
Freshman midfielder Shelby Deering scored the seventh and final goal of the half, sending a shot from approximately 25 yards out into the upper portion of the net.
Then, 11 minutes into the second half, Deering played a ball across the box that Nesbitt slipped inside the right post.
The match ended with 18 minutes remaining due to lightning in the area, with Lady Hornet head coach Brian Norwood conceding the outcome at that point.
White House (11-3-3) – the No. 1 seed from the 9 A-AA North Division – hasn’t lost in more than a month, since a 6-1 setback to Harpeth Hall on Sept. 8.
“We take some things that we need to work on from each game,” Lady Devil head coach Mike Felzien said. “We are doing what we need to do. Hopefully, we’re going to peak at the right time.”
It was the sixth shutout for the Lady Devils.
Huntland (9-6-3) was the No. 4 seed from the 9 A-AA South Division, having captured a 2-0 win over Harpeth in its first-round match last Wednesday.
White House advanced to face Community – a 7-0 winner over visiting Cheatham County in its quarterfinal on Monday evening – in a semifinal match to be played at White House Heritage High School at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
“We need to continue to utilize each other and not try to take it on our own,” Felzien said. “We don’t have that particular all-star to go to all the time. This team has a number of (quality) people on defense and up top. We need each other.”
West added, “We are going to have to be committed. We’ll have to have a lot of teamwork and talk. We have to come together as a team and have unity.”
Reach Craig Harris at 615-575-7138 or on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.