The intensity was high Thursday night at Drakes Creek Park as Sumner County’s two biggest soccer rivals met for their first district contest of the season.

Leading 1-0 with only a few minutes remaining in the match, Hendersonville was given a red card after the Lady Commandos were called for ‘taking away a goal opportunity’ on an Emrie Springs breakaway just outside the box.

“Ayden (Wood) is a baller,” Station Camp head coach Jeremy Cooke said of picking the freshman to take the free kick after Springs was taken down. “Even though she is a freshman, she plays like a senior — she is hungry, strikes the ball well, and I have so much confidence in her.”

Wood lined up about 18 yards out from the goal, and with Hendersonville building a four-woman wall, Wood needed to strike the ball perfectly if she wanted a shot at tying the match.

Luckily for her and the Lady Bison, Hendersonville’s wall opened just the slightest, impeding the vision of Commando keeper Helen Ramsey allowing the ball to squirt by in the bottom right corner, tying the match at 1-1.

“We were a different team in the second half,” Cooke said. “I think the girls may have been too amped to start this game, and we panicked. Give Hendersonville all the credit for putting pressure on us. At the break, we addressed those things, and in the second half, you saw us create a lot of chances — we have to score those.”

The tie for both coaches does not sit well, but for Hendersonville head coach Devin Woodard, Thursday night’s tie is a little easier to cope with than Tuesday’s tie with Centennial.

“A tie is a tie, but we certainly played better tonight,” she said. “I’m proud of the fact the girls wanted it tonight. We talked to them about this being a great opportunity and to go and take it.”

Hendersonville opened the match against the Lady Bison with their hair on fire. Their effective offensive movement gave the Lady Commandos their 1-0 lead when Libby Galbraith found the back of the net on a pass from Liza Sircy just 11 minutes into the match. Hendersonville was a step faster, routinely won their 1-on-1 matchups, and frustrated Station Camp’s best goal scorer Emrie Springs.

“Emrie is a great, dangerous, effective player,” Woodard said. “We did what we could, and I’m proud of the backline because she is such a tough matchup.”

As great as the backline was for Hendersonville, so was their keeper Helen Ramsey, who recorded save-after-save Thursday night.

“She did such a great job,” Woodard said. “That said, I felt we were good all over the field tonight. We worked hard, and we showed we have heart and can play. I think the girls proved something to themselves tonight.”

Added Station Camp coach Jeremy Cooke on Hendersonville’s game plan to take Springs out of the match:

“We expected them to do that, and we have to do a better job of adjusting,” he said. “We didn’t’ execute our game plan much, especially in the first half.”

Station Camp (8-4-3) Gallatin on September 30, while Hendersonville (1-5-5) will host Brentwood on September 28. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start.


HHS: Libby Galbraith

SCHS: Ayden Wood

Zach Womble oversees sports coverage in Sumner County for the Gallatin News, Hendersonville Standard and Portland Sun. Womble has won several TPA awards, highlighted by two first-place awards in 2020 for best sports writing and best special section.

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