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8:40 PM Sun, Jan. 20th

Prep Soccer: Lady Vols show progress in setback to Flagstaff

Sadie Serrano tallied her ninth assist of the season Thursday night in a 4-1 loss to Flagstaff. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

Sadie Serrano tallied her ninth assist of the season Thursday night in a 4-1 loss to Flagstaff. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – Watch out 4A Grand Canyon Region – this Lee Williams High School girls soccer team is on the cusp of becoming a true contender. A year ago Flagstaff came to town and cruised to an 11-1 victory. That wasn’t the case Thursday night as the Lady Vols put up a fight in a 4-1 setback.

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Kendra Pease battles for the ball against two Flagstaff players Thursday night. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

“I think we just ran out of gas,” said Lee Williams head coach Chris Selby. “We still don’t have a deep enough bench to where we can compete at that level. But I’m super proud of them. Honestly even though we lost, we held them to 2-1 at halftime and I was proud of that. And even right there at the end, we still had an opportunity to score.”

The difference in depth showed itself in the second half as the eighth-ranked Lady Eagles (5-1-1, 1-0 4A Grand Canyon Region) didn’t show any signs of fatigue.

The 24th-ranked Lady Vols, on the other hand, put up valiant fight despite the fact they were running out of gas. Nevertheless, this is a much different team from a season ago.

“We’ve improved leaps and bounds,” Selby said. “As far as the growth in the area – if we continue bringing younger players up that play more year round, then you’re going to see this team compete more and more every year.”

The youth movement is easily proven when you find out who leads Lee Williams with 22 goals and five assists – freshman Mackenzie Cathey.

“She has broken all the records so far,” Selby said of Cathey. “She has the most goals in one season, most goals in a game. I think seven in a game is a record in Division I-A soccer. She’s already got that.”

Cathey tallied the Lady Vols’ lone goal against Flagstaff as she took a corner kick from Sadie Serrano and put it in the back of the net to knot the score, 1-1, with 27:53 remaining in the first half.

It was Serrano’s ninth assist of the season, but this Lee Williams squad isn’t just about Cathey and Serrano.

“This team is very unified – they play very well together as a team,” Selby said. “They have each other’s backs. I think that’s really important. There are no players that are all for themselves on this team. This is one united team.”

And even more impressive is the fact the Lady Vols’ future is bright as they continue to build the program.

“I have more than one freshmen on this team, which is exciting,” Selby said. “We only lose four seniors. We’re a young team. So I’m expecting next year we’re going to do even better.”

Lee Williams (4-4, 0-2 4A Grand Canyon Region) returns to the pitch at 6 p.m. Tuesday against 38th-ranked Coconino (3-2, 0-0).