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Coach: Lady Devil soccer team plays with heart

Lady Devil Katherine Altemose wins possession of the ball from a Sullivan South player during girls soccer action. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)

By Keeli Parkey

The wins haven’t come in recent weeks, but the effort has been there for the Unicoi County High School girls soccer team. Despite losing their last six games, the Lady Devils (1-7) continue to represent their school with pride, according to their head coach.

“The girls play with heart and give 100 percent effort,” Bettina Chirica said. “As a coach that’s all you can ask for. I am really proud of the girls for giving it their all.”

On Aug. 23, the team lost to Daniel Boone, 5-0, in Erwin.

“We played well during the Boone game,” Chirica said. “We had our opportunities. We let one goal slip away and we somewhat had a harder time staying mentally in the game. For the upcoming matches we will work on maintaining our positions better on the field and staying mentally focused.”

Juana Ponce, Halie Hawkins and goalie Carly Kinsler stood out in the loss.

The team dropped a 6-0 loss to Volunteer at home on Aug. 28 and a 5-1 loss at Daniel Boone on Aug. 30. The lone goal in those two games was scored by Spencer Garant.

In both games against Boone and Volunteer, Juana Ponce was exceptional,” Chirica said. “I moved her from playing forward to defense, and she did really well. Lana Deshner, Halie Hawkins and Andrea Lopez fought hard in the Volunteer game. In the Boone game, Katherine Altemose and Rachel Altemose played well.

“We have seen improvement as a team,” Chirica continued. “We need to work on the dynamics of finding each other on the field to make plays and continue keeping our game fitness up.”

Last week saw the Lady Devils fall to Sullivan South, 6-2, in Erwin on Sept. 4, at Volunteer, 9-0, on Sept. 5 and at home to David Crockett, 3-0, on Sept. 6.

Overall, from the Volunteer to the Crockett game we have seen improvement,” Chirica said.

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UCHS played host to Sullivan Central on Tuesday, Sept. 11, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue.

They are scheduled to host Hampton on Thursday, Sept. 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The team will also honor its senior members that evening. They are also scheduled to travel to Sullivan South on Tuesday, Sept. 18, for a game beginning at 5:30 p.m.