East Bladen High School
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DUNN – Senior Maya McDonald filled up the nets with a ‘Double Hat Trick’ plus one of 7 goals as her unbeaten East Bladen Lady Eagles rolled to a 9-0 Southeastern Athletic Conference girls soccer victory over Midway Friday night.

“Tonight was one of the best team performances I have been a part of,” said East Bladen Coach Jay Raynor. “The girls rallied around each other tonight and turned things completely around from Wednesday. We were much more efficient in the attacking 1/3rd. Our midfielders were much more active tonight. Cydney (Campbell) had one of her best games of her career. She dominated the right flank and helped keep our waves of attacks going.”

McDonald also contributed 2 assists and her 1st assist was sent to freshman Jackie Medina-Leal who banged in a goal in the 5th minute of play. A minute later junior Acee Campbell delivered the 1st of her 3 assists in the game to McDonald who fired in her 1st goal of the game.

“Maya had a career night as well. She was determined and she left it all on the field just as her teammates did,” stated Raynor. “Our midfielders Jackie, Acee, Heidi (Rebollar), Cydney, and Anna (Miranda) were completely dominant tonight. Any attack that was initiated by Midway, they stopped them. Every ball was contested. The girls did much better tonight in that area. They didn’t give Midway any time or space. There was instant pressure all night. That’s when we are at our best.”

In the 10th minute, McDonald drilled in a goal off an assist from freshman Iveonna “NeNe” Ward that pushed the lead to 3-0. With 18:46 on the 1st half clock, junior Cydney Campbell supplied the assist as McDonald knocked in her 3rd goal of the game.

Five minutes later McDonald blasted in another goal off of Acee Campbell’s 2nd assist of the game. With 7:49 remaining in the half, freshman Leah McGill contributed to McDonald’s assault on the Midway goal with an assist that McDonald turned into a 6-0 halftime lead.

“Our backs (Molly Evans, Merritt Martin, and Zoe Smith) were locked in and dominant as well,” noted Raynor. “They did a great job going into support and covering for each other. Reese (Hester) did a great job in goal. She was aggressive and made great decisions in goal tonight. She didn’t have to make a lot of saves but she was confident and altered several of their shots.”

Ward cracked the scoring column 3 minutes after halftime turning a McDonald feed into a goal. McDonald darted through the Lady Raider defense for an unassisted goal that grew the margin to 8-0. Another Acee Campbell assist set up McDonald again as she booted in her 7th goal of the game.

“We did a much better job with our organization and getting numbers in the box,” added Raynor. “We were able to get Jackie and Cydney in scoring positions tonight. Our holding players (Acee and Anna) were also able to get higher up the field to have looks on goal and keep the ball in Midway’s defending 1/3 of the field.”

Raynor continued, “In every aspect of the game tonight the girls were dominant. They owed it and picked each other up. We were a player led team tonight. The energy, the vibe, the level of play, and the effort was at a high level tonight. It was fun to watch and see. Not many teams could pull off the change from Wednesday to today as these girls did. They wanted it and they went and got it.”

East Bladen outshot the Lady Raiders 17-1 in the 1st half and 24-2 for the game. “Midway adjusted from the first game and went with a lower line,” noted Raynor. “I thought we did a better job tonight beating their backline whether they were high or low. We stayed positive when we missed a shot or misplayed a ball. For me that was the difference. The girls lifted each other up and made sure to keep the positivity going.”

Raynor continued, “When we play at that level and play that hard for each other, we are a tough matchup for anyone. Proud of the girls and their leadership tonight. Every one of them made a difference tonight. Everyone did their job and had a good time doing it.”

The Lady Eagles improved to 8-0 in SAC-7 play and 11-0 overall and now travel to Clinton Tuesday for a showdown with the Lady Dark Horses who are also undefeated in SAC-7 action.