Forty-six minutes into Oneida’s match against Campbell County Monday night, officials decided that enough was enough, ending the match prematurely as rain pummeled Jane Terry Hoffman Field ahead of an approaching cold front.
But the abbreviated time was enough for Aliyah Douglas to score her first hat trick of the season. The sophomore scored three times to help her team to a 3-0 win over the Cougars.
The two teams had already waited through an extended halftime break, due to lightning. After Douglas scored her third goal, the referees deemed the field too saturated to continue play.
As his team waited out the lightning delay with a 2-0 halftime lead, Coach Phil Newport said he wasn’t particularly pleased with the way the game was going.
“These layoffs have not been good for my squad,” Newport said, indicating the 11-day down period between a game at Cumberland Gap on September 17 and Monday’s game. “We have assaulted their goal in the first half (16 shots) with just the two goals to show from it. The weather is the same for both units so there isn’t any excuse for our performance thus far.”
The game had hardly gotten started when Douglas found the net, giving the Lady Indians an early 1-0 lead. She added a second goal with 18 minutes remaining in the first half.
Oneida junior Caroline Keeton suffered a knee injury, which was being evaluated. She missed most of the 2019 season with a knee injury.
As he waited for the resumption of play, Newport said he was hopeful his team could use the second half to find a rhythm.
“We need to grow up a little tonight and this week,” he said. “I honestly need this team to quit living off the reputation they have from the past three teams and start building their own.”
As it turned out, most of the second half was not played.
Fortunately, the Lady Indians have two more non-district matches scheduled for this week before an important game at Rockwood. They were to have visited Clinton on Tuesday for a game they would’ve been favored to win, and will face Cumberland County on Thursday.
“We have a ways to go and Rockwood is still out there on (October 5), so work to do before we see the tournament,” Newport said. “The girls are being properly challenged and I think they still haven’t pieced two halves together. We have yet to play to our potential so one always anticipates that happening.”
While the season hasn’t gone quite the way he hoped, Newport’s team has shown promise at times — including handing Kingston its only blemish on the season, a 3-3 tie, before the Yellow Jackets finally lost to Anderson County last week.
“My first group didn’t really gel until the district tournament began; maybe this one can too,” he said.