Prep soccer: Salisbury clinches CCC title
By Nick Bowton
Salisbury celebrated an individual accomplishment minutes after defeating Ledford on Wednesday. A few minutes after that, the Hornets celebrated a team achievement.
Kaitlyn Cuevas became the school’s all-time assist leader with eight minutes remaining, and Salisbury beat Ledford 5-0 to secure a CCC title with one game to go. Cuevas received a ball signed by her teammates, and the Hornets then went over to “tag the rock” near the concession stand at Ludwig Stadium.Spray-painting their numbers on the rock was a reward for winning the first conference title since 2005.
“It’s owed all to the players,” Salisbury coach Matt Parrish said. “All the work they’ve put in, all the time they’ve listened to me complain and yell and gripe at them. Without them, this program wouldn’t be what it is.
“And our senior class is as good as it gets ó best senior class we’ve ever had.”
That class includes three of the four players who scored last night ó Lindsey Davis, Jamie Dagenhart and Maria Tonseth ó along with Cuevas, Ivy Brisbin and Susie Wear.
Cuevas almost didn’t get a chance to record her 66th assist, as she played only 14 minutes in the first half after getting kneed on her lower right thigh.
Her teammates did just fine without her, scoring three goals in a 12-minute span midway through the first half.
Davis opened the scoring when a shot deflected off a defender and directly to her in the penalty area. She beat goalkeeper Grace Lackey to the right side.
Karen Presnell scored off a Madison Kennedy corner kick three minutes later, and Dagenhart turned a pass from Davis into a 3-0 lead with 19 minutes left in the first half.
Ledford had been competitive through the first 10 minutes, but Salisbury dominated possession after its scoring spurt.
“I think it certainly took some of the wind out of their sails,” Parrish said. “A couple of their better players seemed to be dragging just a touch after that.”
Salisbury, meanwhile, had five legitimate scoring chances late in the first half and showed it has fully recovered from its first loss of the season last week against West Davidson.The Hornets (14-1, 10-1) had played once since then, beating Lexington, but Ledford provided their first real test since that 3-0 loss.
“I definitely think we needed a kick in the butt,” said Davis, who scored again eight minutes into the second half off an assist from Dagenhart. “We were getting a little over-confident. Even though I wasn’t glad that we lost, it gave the team a nice wake-up call.
“As you can see, it paid off.”
With the victory, Salisbury secured its first CCC title since the current seniors were freshmen. Cuevas has been accumulating assists since that season, and she was tied with Brynn Dailey with 65 entering the game last night.
She got her 66th when she made a simple pass to Tonseth on the left side. Tonseth dribbled the ball into the penalty area and beat the goalkeeper with a shot to the near post.
Both Parrish and Cuevas said they were glad to get the record out of the way.
“Every pass I’m thinking, ‘Is she gonna score?’ ” Cuevas said. “I was thinking about it every time I touched the ball.”
Glad to finally have the record, Cuevas said taking it from Dailey meant quite a bit.
“I played with Brynn my freshman year,” she said. “I definitely looked up to her. I really did. We played the same position. She took all the corners her freshman year, and I take all of them now.
“She taught me how to be both a leader and a player.”
Contact Nick Bowton at firstname.lastname@example.org