2020 has seen a lot of weird things for prep sports, but one Williamson County soccer game saw a player play out of position in the goal and perform pretty well.
Summit (2-9) and Nolensville (6-2-2) had a non-district matchup Tuesday night at Summit with just a few games left in the season as the Lady Knights are trying to climb up a couple of spots in the district.
Nolensville managed to win 2-0 despite having a lot of players out due to contact tracing, per Nolensville head coach Eric Shelton. On the other hand, Summit hasn’t had an easy year either. The Spartans were down to its last goalkeeper coming into the game with the others out due to injury.
“We came into the game without a few of our starters," said Shelton. “Some players got a chance to step in, and their hard work in practice really paid off. We didn’t miss a beat; really happy with the way we played.”
The Lady Spartans luck about ran out as ten minutes into the game, the team's starting goalie was injured after sliding to save a ball that was passed back into the 18-yard box. With the goalie reserves completely depleted, Summit was forced to play someone out of their natural position.
“Our keeper just went down and it doesn’t look good,” said Summit Coach Deni Ismailovic. “She was goalkeeper of the district. We have three goalkeepers all injured, we are playing a field player. I think we started eight freshman and sophomores, so we’re a young team and trying to play the right way. We’re a little bit unlucky, but so is everyone this time of the year with COVID.”
In light of the injury, defender Jenna Fly came in for her team when they needed her. Fly had a great start and kept a clean sheet for 37 minutes.
Amelia Ligiudice took advantage of a bad clearance at the top of the box and sent it over Fly’s head to break the tie as the Lady Knights went into halftime with 1-0 lead.
“When she finds her shot, she is really good at getting it on frame,” said Shelton. “We did a good job possessing the ball in the first half, and luckily we were able to find an opportunity and capitalize right before halftime.”
Regardless of the one goal she let up in the first half, Fly still gave a great effort between the sticks in the second half.
The fill-in goalie didn’t allow a goal until ten minutes into the second half, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Fly saved the first shot off of a well-placed cross, but was unable to save the rebound shot from Samantha Hong in the 50th minute to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Spartans tried everything they could to get back in the game, but could not get anything to fall for them as they lost in the end.
Summit’s next game will be at Brentwood this Thursday.
“Brentwood has always been around,” said Ismailovic. “I’ve been coaching club for 16 years, and a lot of those kids I’ve coached for a long time. That’s a talent program and they have got a lot of talent. That’s a place we are trying to get to.”
Nolensville has a district matchup against Tullahoma away from home this Thursday. Tullahoma is 4-3 and has yet to win a game in the district.
“It’s always tough whenever you travel to Tullahoma,” said Shelton. “We are looking forward to a good district match there.”