By Chuck Reherman
Going into the second half, Yukon was looking to cruise to its third straight win of the young season.
The Millerettes got that third win, but it wasn’t a “cake walk.”
Southmoore pressed Yukon in the second half, but the Millerettes held on to secure a 4-3 win over the Sabercats Tuesday night at Miller Stadium.
Yukon, after recording clean sheets in their first two matches, saw Southmoore take advantage of the wind in the second half to make a run. The Lady Sabercats scored with four minutes remaining to make it a one-goal difference and had a chance to tie the match with under two minutes remaining on a shot from 25-yards out, only to see keeper Abby Camp secure the win with a save.
“It did get a little scary at the end,” Millerette head coach Danielle Tantillo said. “We managed the game, I don’t think we played bad, but I don’t think we played good. We managed and definitely have what we need to improve on definitely came out tonight.
“I don’t think the win played as big a role as I thought it was going to coming into the game,” she said. “Definitely it played a role in punts, free and corner kicks, but after that it was easy to play soccer and connect.”
The Millerette attack was impressive early on, scoring three times within a three-minute span to open a 3-1 lead.
Southmoore made a run in the second half, cutting the lead to 4-2 10 minutes in when Aynslee Brinkley beat her defender and put the shot into the back of the net.
The Lady Sabercats made it a one-goal match with 3:58 remaining when Leilana Carolina fired a shot from 25-yards out that was just over Camp’s head.
Brinkley had a chance to tie the match in the closing seconds, but her shot was stopped by Camp to seal the win.
“I’m not sure if we let up in the second half with the lead, we switched formations and we were trying to adjust to that,” Tantillo said. “Southmoore is a very athletic and good team and we knew we would be challenged.
“Our two midfield freshmen, Marlee (Fort) and Alix (Regier) stepped it up tonight,” she said. “Marlee was all over the field, she did great.”
Fort gave the Millerettes the initial lead in the 23rd minute of the first half when she booted in a rebound off a corner kick. The ball had bounced off a pair of legs as the teams fought for control and Fort got her right foot on it and sent it past the keeper.
Southmoore did come back and score to tie the match, but Regier broke the tie when she took a pass and fired in a 25-yard shot with 19:55 remaining in the half.
The Millerettes extended their lead to 3-1 when Caid Jefferson took a pass from Zoe Wilson and beat the SMHS keeper with 10:17 left in the half.
Yukon opened a 4-1 lead off Ashley Brinkley’s header in front of the goal box off a corner kick with 7:05 remaining.
“Our defense stepped it up and played well in the final minutes of the match,” Tantillo said. “It feels great to be 3-0 and hopefully we can be 4-0 going into Spring Break and help get us ready for district play.”
The Millerettes come back from Spring Break to face Westmoore on the road on March 23 and will play in a tournament that weekend then start district play.”