VALE — The Highland Tech Lady Rams secured a 6-0 victory over conference opponent the West Lincoln Lady Rebels Wednesday afternoon during a home game for the Lincoln County team.
West Lincoln started the first half with possession of the ball and quickly gained a free kick near the center of the field after referees called a handball on the Gaston County squad less than 30 seconds into the game.
From the start, Highland Tech maintained quick passing and strong plays on offense, gaining them their first goal just seven minutes into the half. Junior Kaci McDaniel obtained the point after kicking a high ball towards the net. Although West Lincoln’s freshman goalkeeper, Brittany Dalama, touched the shot, it bounced backwards into the goal.
The goal would be the first of four for McDaniel throughout the match.
Three minutes later, the Gaston County forward snagged her second point. She found the shot several touches after her teammate, junior Karen Fowler, launched a corner kick at the 10-minute mark.
The Lady Rebels, too, obtained a corner kick shortly after the goal but were unable to produce a shot from the play.
Referees called McDaniel offside midway through the half while she stood just 20-yards out from the net.
A minute later, the Highland Tech player was back attacking her opponent’s goal with fancy footwork, but West Lincoln’s defensive line shut her down.
Junior Lady Rebel Olivia Sain showcased numerous aggressive plays during the match from her back right field position, keeping Lady Rams’ forwards on their toes.
As Dalama left the front of the goal, McDaniel quickly launched the ball into the back of the net, increasing the score to 3-0 at the 21-minute mark and gaining herself a hat trick.
After Highland Tech’s third goal, neither squad produced shots on goal for more than 10 minutes.
The shooting lull ceased at minute 36 with a fourth goal for the visiting team.
The Lady Rebels switched goalkeepers going into the second half, sending in sophomore Addie McAlister, who blocked multiple shots.
Two free shots on goal at the 20-minute mark for Highland Tech made home team fans nervous, but Fowler’s back-to-back corner kicks were unsuccessful in targeting the net, except for the back of the net, where one ball landed.
On West Lincoln’s front line, senior Taylor Sutton worked hard during the match to setup plays with surrounding teammates, often times battling for the ball with pressure from multiple opponents.
The Lady Rams eventually gained two more goals at minutes 29 and 37 — the final point scored by junior Jacki Ciokajlo.