With a tough game expected today, the Jefferson City Lady Jays were pleased with a low-stress Friday night.
The Lady Jays jumped out to a big lead early in Friday’s contest against the Springfield Central Lady Bulldogs and never looked back, running away with an 8-0 mercy-rule victory in the Lady Jays Shootout at Jefferson City High School.
“For us to score and not have to grind too hard tonight was big because it’s a shootout, so you have a short turnaround before our next game,” Jefferson City coach Scott Blake said. “Right now we have a few injuries, so whenever you can do some things to try and get yourself a little easier night, it’s never a bad thing.”
Emily McMillian was the key to the Jefferson City fast start, as she netted her first goal less than two minutes in off an assist from Izzy Schmidt, added another five minutes later by tapping a rebound off her own shot and completed a hat trick just under 13 minutes in off a pass from Jada Barlow to give the Lady Jays a 3-0 lead.
McMillian finished the game with four goals and two assists.
“She’s good, she’s really good,” Blake said. “She scores, but she also does a lot of passing the ball and creating opportunities for others, as well.”
Jefferson City continued to attack but did not find the back of the net again until just under seven minutes left when McMillian dished an assist to Barlow.
And just before the half, McMillian fired a shot that was blocked by the Lady Bulldog back line, but the ball ended up right in front of the far post and in front of Mia Allen, who tapped it in to give the Lady Jays a 5-0 lead at intermission.
The Lady Jays quickly made it a 7-0 game in the second half, as Barlow added her second goal off a Schmidt assist less than 30 seconds in and McMillian capped off her four-goal performance by finishing off an assist from Bryanna Nelson with 32:55 left.
“We need it, we cannot just have Emily be our main scorer,” Blake said on getting production from multiple places. “We’ve got to stretch ourselves and make sure we have multiple girls that can step up at any given moment, and we are getting better in that area.”
Blake subbed in a majority of the JV lineup for the next 30 minutes to give his starters some needed rest before today’s game.
Part of the subbing was bringing Riley McKee out of goal and putting her at forward to try and get her some action after not seeing a shot in her time at keeper Friday.
McKee was able to get a few shots on goal but Central goalkeeper Addie Green was able to turn the shots away.
That was until Blake subbed McMillian back in with just more than four minutes left with one goal: Get McKee a goal.
“Obviously we were putting Emily back in with an assignment,” Blake said. “Like she wasn’t going to score, but go ahead and create an opportunity. Whether it’s 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, Emily can create those moments.”
That is exactly what McMillian did, as she dribbled through the middle of the Lady Bulldog defense and tapped the ball over to McKee for an easy goal to end the contest three minutes early by mercy rule.
“Getting Riley McKee the icing goal was pretty awesome,” Blake said. “She’s got a couple goals, but that’s a special moment. Most of the time she’s back in goal celebrating by herself, but to get her involved in the play and to ice it was special.”
Green finished with 10 saves in goal for Central (8-10).
Jefferson City (8-7-1) will conclude its home Shootout at 10 a.m. today against Republic.