This game was kind of a big deal for Lincoln County — and something of a disappointment for Danville.
The Lincoln girls have been winning with increased regularity in recent years, but they haven’t had many wins like this: a milestone victory over a neighboring school and a win that gives them a foothold in their new district.
The Patriots achieved exactly that Thursday, and they did so with ease, throttling Danville 6-0 at Reynolds Field.
It was quite likely Lincoln’s first win ever over Danville — the teams have played only three times in the past 12 years — and it was the Patriots’ first win in the new 45th District.
“This win places us in the district,” said defender Alyssa Meece, one of four Lincoln players who scored. “We played really well, and this game means a lot to us.”
Lincoln (7-2-1, 1-0 district) put up four first-half goals, including two in the last 4 minutes, and its defense held Danville (4-3-2, 0-2) to four shots on goal and pitched its fifth shutout of the season.
“I’m real proud of the girls. We did a great job tonight, we stuck to the game plan and moved the ball well,” Lincoln coach Andrew Kaiser said.
Danville coach J.D. Smith could not say the same. The Admirals went scoreless for the second consecutive game — both were district games — and Smith said this one looked even worse than their loss to Boyle County five nights earlier.
“We played poorly. Lack of intensity, lack of effort, lack of communication, everything was gone,” Smith said. “It was one of those nights when not much is going right because we’re not putting ourselves in the position we need to put ourselves in.”
Rachel Spangler scored two goals and Meece, Misty Simpson and Macy Kaiser scored once each for Lincoln, which outshot Danville 21-11 and held a 12-4 advantage in shots on goal.
“We just wanted to win all the 50-50 balls and spread the field,” Andrew Kaiser said.
“Our mindset was to attack and anchor the low corners ... and our passes and our communication was outstanding,” forward Kristin Meece said.
Her twin sister, defender Kelsey Meece, said the defense also did its job.
“On defense we passed out wide very good and we talked to each other,” she said. “We stayed solid, we had solid kicks, solid passes. We were just solid, and we played probably better this game than most of the games we’ve played.”
The Admirals got the first two shots of the game, but the Patriots got the next 10. One of them, a header by Maddie Adams off a Macy Kaiser corner kick in the eighth minute, resulted in the game’s first goal when a Danville defender knocked the ball into the net while trying to clear it.
Alyssa Meece scored on a rebound in the 16th minute after two shots by Spangler were blocked by Danville defenders, Spangler got her first goal in the 37th minute off a pass from Kaiser, and Simpson scored with 63 seconds remaining on the final shot of the first half.
Spangler scored again in the 53rd minute when she dribbled in to shoot from 5 yards. That goal came about 2 minutes after she drew a yellow card and about 13 minutes before she drew a red card for excessive contact with Danville goalkeeper Katie Nelson.
Kaiser capped the scoring with 5 minutes left on a one-touch shot off a long cross from Michaela Sebastian.
Lincoln goalkeeper Jerrica Kidd had four saves, and a shot in the closing minutes by Danville’s Samantha Sandidge squarely hit the goal post. Danville’s Nelson had six saves.
While the Patriots are charting a course for its fifth straight winning season, the Admirals are setting sail for anywhere but here.
“I think we’ve taken all we’re going to take from this game,” Smith said. “Dwelling on this is not going to bring anything positive to us. We’ve got very focused training (today), and we’re going to move on to something else.”