DANIELSVILLE – Friday’s match between the Madison County and East Jackson girls’ soccer teams was a stalemate for over an hour of play.
Then, Keri Janosik punched in a go-ahead goal at the 65th minute and the Red Raiders played true on defense to defeat the Eagles 1-0 in non-region play. The goal was the culmination of various improvements the Red Raiders made at halftime after a sloppy first half.
“An old mentor coach told me one time, ‘you always celebrate the win, there’s always practice on Monday,’” said head coach Lee Reno. “It was not the cleanest game by any means, I think we got away from what we’ve been working on which is possession and passing. We were playing the long ball a little more than we should have.
“At halftime, we talked about how we were getting away from everything we had worked on. Coming out of the half, we tried to string together some more passes and it seemed to help. I think communication was a big part of that, in the first half, no one was talking to each other.”
Janosik scored Madison County’s (2-2, 0-0 region 8-AAAA) only goal after receiving a pass around midfield. She had a lane of empty turf ahead of her, dribbled into the box and shot as defenders converged on her. Janosik had made the same move moments earlier, but East Jackson’s keeper made a save at the last second.
“That was a heck of an individual effort,” Reno said. “It wasn’t a good through ball, it wasn’t a good pass to her. She just got it, took on four or five people by herself and was able to stick it in. She put some of the weight on her shoulders.”
Madison County’s keeper Josie Johnson got credit for the win and a clean sheet despite East Jackson taking more shots throughout the game. The Eagles weren’t picky with their shot selection and it led to some easy saves for the sophomore.
“She definitely played a good game, kept the shutout for us,” he said. “She seemed to be doing really well with everything getting to her hands. It’s going to take a good shot to get it by her.”
BOYS SOCCER: EAST JACKSON 2, MADISON COUNTY 1
Madison County’s equalizer at the 46th minute didn’t hold as the Red Raiders allowed the Eagles to score a late goal to win 2-1.
East Jackson penetrated into the Red Raiders’ box moments before halftime to take a 1-0 lead into the break. Madison County responded with a game-tying goal shortly after play resumed and the 1-1 tie held for 16 minutes before the Eagles broke through again for the game winning score.
Madison County travels to Cedar Shoals on Tuesday for the continuation of what is becoming a solid rivalry on the boys’ side. The Red Raiders lost to Cedar Shoals 3-2 in overtime in 2018 and battled them to a 1-1 draw last year. The girls’ game begins at 5:30 with the boys’ game starting around 7:30.