Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Coach: Lady Devils continue to improve

The Unicoi County High School Lady Blue Devil soccer program took in the sights and sounds of the newly-created Citizens-Bank Stadium in Elizabethon.
UCHS stayed competitive throughout the match, but were unable to compete with the experienced Lady Cyclones in a 10-0 loss on Thursday, Sept. 17, in District 1-A/AA soccer action.
“They really tried hard and gave it their all,” said Lady Blue Devil head coach Bettina Chirica. “Elizabethton has a reputation of being a very strong team, especially being coached by Bill McClay. He has always had a really good team, but overall we came and gave it our all, we gave a 100-percent effort and I’m real proud of the girls.”
Blue Nation took a 4-0 deficit into intermission. Goalkeeper Alexandra Reynoso provided a handful of saves while Jillian Taylor, a sophomore trackster with the high school, was able to use her speed to her advantage for a couple of breakaway opportunities that Elizabethton was able to counter.
“Last year it was Happy Valley, this year Unicoi County and I think Hampton may be working on a team, too,” McClay said about the soccer teams locally. “… I think it’s a great opportunity for Unicoi County. I know the interest is there because we play with some of the kids out that way during indoor season. We know they’re ready and there’s desire from the players and I’m excited to see them have it.
“Once a soccer team gets established, it will grow,” McClay continued. “If they improve, our conference improves and they will. Next year they should have some home games and that will be good, too, because I know it can be rough traveling during the entire season.”
In an inaugural year, the team is just looking at improvements across the board as the season goes on, Chrica said.
“As the season progresses, I am seeing overall improvement in skills,” she added. “The girls are having better touches on the ball as well as playing as a team and making passes in games. One thing, as a coach, I’m really excited about is continuing to see the girls holding each other accountable and being self-motivated.”
• • •
The previous week, UCHS made the trip to David Crockett, dropping a 9-0 decision. Clarissa Mendoza, Dolores Meza and Elena Orozco turned in successful performances for the team, Chirica added.
The Lady Blue Devils opened action this week against Chuckey-Doak on Monday, Sept. 21, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline. The game’s rescheduled date was announced following the Elizabethton game.
Following the contest with the Lady Black Knights, UCHS will travel to Happy Valley on Monday, Sept. 28, for a rematch against the Lady Warriors. The teams’ previous meeting resulted in a 2-2 draw.
“I would say the goals represented all the hard work, commitment and dedication these girls put forth during practice,” Chirica said about the previous clash. “Being a new program, these girls have already learned so much since day one. I was very happy for the girls because they were able to get results for their hard work.
“Overall we will continue to work hard at practice so that we can continue learning more in-depth tactics and improve our technical skills,” Chirica added.