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Jefferson City girls soccer beats Battle for first CMAC win

by Trevor Hahn | April 25, 2023 at 2:04 a.m.
The Jefferson City Lady Jays gather on the field before the start of Monday's girls soccer game against the Battle Spartans at Jefferson City High School. (Trevor Hahn/News Tribune)

The Jefferson City Lady Jays were in attack mode from the start Monday.

And behind a hat trick from Emily McMillian, the Lady Jays picked up their first Central Missouri Activities Conference victory of the season with a 4-1 defeat of the Battle Spartans at Jefferson City High School.

“It’s obviously good to win a conference game, we don’t want to go through conference O-fer,” Jefferson City coach Scott Blake said. “… It was good to get one.”

Jefferson City opened up the scoring less than three minutes in.

Battle got its first shot in the second minute before it was pushed out for a corner kick. After Riley McKee collected the ball in goal from the corner, she found McMillian down the field with a throw -- who dribbled through the rest of the Spartans’ defense and ripped a shot from the left side of the box to the near side for her first goal.

“I think the Riley-Emily connection has been there a lot, that’s probably the fourth or fifth goal they’ve connected on this year,” Blake said. “… When Riley has the ball, whether she’s throwing or punting, we always try to key on getting Emily on the end of it.”

McMillian, who has been battling back from a hand injury and is playing with a cast on the injured hand, continued to attack and found the back of the net again 10 minutes later.

Faith Byrum got the ball out wide left and was able to find McMillian in the box, and McMillian was able to beat the keeper near post again to put the Lady Jays in front 2-0 at the 27:40 mark.

“The injury kind of put her out of games, but also she’s been a little bit hesitant,” Blake said. “… Today she looked a little fresher, a little more like herself. For her to get a multiple-goal game was good.”

Jefferson City dominated the possession battle for a majority of the contest but Battle was able to sneak in a counter-attack to get on the board with just over 17 minutes left in the opening 40 minutes.

The Spartans were able to get a through ball behind the Lady Jay back line and into Maliyah Miller, who finished off the goal to cut the deficit to 2-1.

“We just got a little complacent,” Blake said. “We kind of fell asleep a little bit there. Up to that point, we had basically been able to do whatever we wanted in the first half. And they caught us sleeping.”

But the Lady Jays extended their lead back out to two goals with McMillian’s third of the half.

With 39 seconds left before intermission, McMillian was able to power one through contact and the goalie to complete the hat trick before falling to the turf.

Once the rest of the Jefferson City team saw she was OK, the Lady Jays celebrated their teammates first-half hat trick.

“She’s kind of hiding that arm a little bit, she’s learning to try and fall a little different,” Blake said. “… Through this injury, she’s learning how to fall and I think that’s going to help her avoid injury in the future.”

Jefferson City dominated possession again in the second half and was able to keep the Spartans out of the attacking third.

Battle finished the game with eight shots but only got three after halftime.

And the Lady Jays continued to attack on offense with seven more shots in the second half.

Ainsley Craver denied the first five she saw in goal for the Spartans, but the fifth from Jada Barlow found its way back into the middle of the box and onto the foot of Krya Madondo -- who fired it into the top of the net for the final goal with 2:22 left.

“To get one at the end was good just for the, ‘Hey, we got something out of that half,’” Blake said. “We measure success by the scoreboard, so that was good for the team. And I think that was big for Kyra.”

Jefferson City (7-6-1, 1-3 CMAC) finished with 17 shots in the contest. McKee also made seven saves.

Craver finished with seven saves for Battle (6-9-1, 0-4 CMAC).


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