Lady Trojans drop defensive struggle

Photo- Glenn Holmes
Photo- Glenn Holmes

Corey Cusick/Times-Georgian

The visiting Lady Indians (5-1-1) found the back of the net in the 11th minute of the match on a 35-yard boot from Ellie Watson, but that would be the lone ball to get past the Lady Trojan defense and keeper Annabel Patton.

With the score remaining 1-0 through the half and into the second half, Carrollton (2-4-1) had its opportunities to pull even, but couldn't get the key shot down the stretch of the evening.

Even so, it proved to be another solid showing against a quality opponent from the highest classification in the state for head coach Drew Ebensberger's squad.

"It was a good battle. East Coweta's always a solid team. We put up a good fight and we had opportunities. We just couldn't get it to hit the back of the net," Ebensberger said.

Carrollton's four losses and tie have come against teams with a combined record of 23-3-7, as once again it is getting battled-tested in the non-region portion of play to prepare for Region 7-AAAAA and the Class AAAAA state playoffs.

As of now, the Lady Trojans are 2-0 in the region heading into Friday's matchup at Hiram and Ebensberger is confident this group can make a run at a region title this spring.

"I'm very proud. They've done well. We've made the mistakes as we're learning early on. We've been right there in most games. We're 2-0 in region right now, which is good, so we're playing this tough competition to get us ready for it and I think it will help us out a lot," Ebensberger said.

Coming off a sweet 16 appearance a season ago, Carrollton returns a handful of key components from that squad, including Lacey Needham and Kelsee and Kamree Holloway, while several other key players are in the fold in the form of McKenzie and Marianah Lloyd, Paige Blackmon, Natalie Davis, Julianne Heine, Rebekah Rooks, Elizabeth Ayers, Riley Mikilitus and Patton in goal.

"They're all doing well. The Holloways are working hard. We've got one in the back and one up front. We've got McKenzie Lloyd in the back doing a great job and Lacey Needham," Ebensberger said. "They all contribute in some way. It takes all of them. It hasn't been one particular girl doing everything."

Defense has been a strength for Carrollton early in the season and Ebensberger stressed that if the offense can get better at finishing, the ceiling is extremely high for this group.

"They're young, they're coming in and they've got energy. We're really starting to get that possession now for where it is. The defense has been great. We've had some good defensive stands where it could have been blown out, but we've done well holding it," Ebensberger said. "We've still got to work on some finishing. That's kind of the weak point. Just finishing. We haven't been able to get it in the back of the net as much as we want."