Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Trojans defeat Demons 2-1 in girls’ soccer

By Justin Webster | Apr 13, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Moments after the clock struck 0:00, members of the Fairfield girls’ soccer team celebrated a 2-1 home victory over SEC rival Washington. The Trojans are, from left, No. 3 sophomore Emily McAvan, No. 10 junior Bryanna Popejoy, No. 26 sophomore Kathryn McClain and No. 13 senior Madelyn Smith.

After beating the Demons by mercy rule(10 goal difference) in just one half of play last year, Fairfield’s 2-1 defeat of Southeast Conference rival Washington in girls’ soccer Thursday night at FHS felt much closer than the one-goal game actually was.

The Trojans Bryanna Popejoy took her first of three shots-on-goal in the second minute of the game, with Emily McAvan taking Fairfield’s second of 23 shots on the night in the fourth minute, scoring off an assist from Alie Kensett to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

Popejoy scored an unassisted goal on her second/the Trojans’ third shot of the game in the sixth minute, giving Fairfield a 2-0 advantage just over five minutes into the contest and looking like a repeat of last years’ matchups.

Although Washington’s goalie took 21 more shots over the next 85 minutes of play, the Demon defense held Fairfield scoreless, drawing within a goal with a score in the 41st minute to cut their deficit in half.

New Head Coach Callyn Mason was beyond happy with her teams’ play.

“We are playing extremely better considering last year we were mercy ruled in the first half. We have worked our butts off to get to this point and I’m so proud of the girls for the effort they put in. They are extremely tired right now, but they are so happy, even with a loss, to know how much they’ve improved and it’s still the beginning of the season. We still have a long ways to go.”

Trojans first year coach Brittany Winslow was also happy with her teams’ play, although most of their highlights came during the first 45 minutes.

“We really worked together in the first half and crossed the ball quite a bit. When the the ball got dropped back to defense, we switched fields, so, that really is what helped us beat the girls and get around them. We were making a lot of runs. I think mostly, we just got a little tired in the second half and that’s kind of what we struggle with most.”

The game was the second of three this week for the Trojans who lost 2-1 to Ottumwa Tuesday and will host fellow SEC rival Mt. Pleasant Friday night.

“Overall, all of the girls stepped up from Tuesday and put all of the things we talked about into effect and really worked hard and as a team tonight,” said Winslow. “I do think it helped a lot that Emily McAvan at the top made those runs and got those touches to try to get in near and around the goalie. As a whole, we did great and stepped it up quite a bit,” added the Trojan coach.

As for Mt. Pleasant, they have a couple of returning girls that are quick and have a good foot, so we need to make sure the defense is on their toes and we bring our “A” game tomorrow,” added Winslow.

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