Tates Creek girls advance to state soccer semis

mmaloney@herald-leader.comOctober 27, 2012 

If Tates Creek gets derailed in the girls' State Soccer Tournament, it won't be for lack of heart.

The second-ranked Lady Commodores moved through Saturday's quarterfinals at Lafayette, knocking off No. 7 Murray 4-1.

Destinie Graves scored twice for Tates Creek, with Ashley Whaley and Mallory Eubanks getting one each.

"We just have such great resolve and desire to win," Coach Bo Lankster said. "These girls know how to win. Every one of these girls has played at some type of championship level, at the state level, at some point. When you've got players like that, they're going to step up."

Creek (21-1-4) will face Bowling Green in Wednesday's semifinals at Paul Laurence Dunbar.

"We just like being together, and I think that's one of the main reasons we just want to go as far as we can," said midfielder Aaron Lankster, one of Bo Lankster's three daughters on the team. "We just have a lot of team chemistry and we just like playing together."

Murray (23-3) had outscored opponents 131-16 coming into the day, 22-1 in five post-season games.

However, the Tigers trailed 2-0 at halftime.

Whaley opened the scoring 26:28 in, pouncing on Shelby Williams' deflected chance and chipping a shot inside the far (right) post.

Graves' 32nd goal of the season, 1:07 before intermission, doubled the lead.

Aaron Lankster, from the top of the box, dished to Graves on the right wing. Goalkeeper Elizabeth Grogan got a hand on the shot, but the ball caromed into the net.

Creek goalkeeper Arly Lankster snagged a couple of dangerous crosses in the first half, but the Tigers had no shots.

"(Bo Lankster) told us their midfield was going to be really tough, so we just tried to come out as prepared as we could," Aaron Lankster said. "We tried to take away their best players. Even with that, they really did a nice job of still getting around us, so it was rough. But we did what we could."

Eubanks made it 3-0 at the 58:10 mark, converting from close range off a pass from Elaine Simpson.

Murray's goal came with 4:39 left. Taylor Richerson banged in a rebound off an indirect kick from 6 yards out, awarded when Arly Lankster picked up a ball last kicked by a teammate.

The goal mattered little, though, with Graves placing a fourth-goal shot on the top shelf with 1:44 left.

"It's all about finishing your chances, so it really doesn't matter how many chances you get it, it's just how we finish," Graves said. "... We had chances that we didn't finish, but tonight finished (enough of) them."

Unofficially, Creek outshot the Tigers 21-3.

"I don't think that we necessarily played our best game, but I think that had a lot to do with Murray," Bo Lankster said. "Because Murray came into this game fully expecting to win, I think. They have a very good team. ... I think that's what we did the best — we didn't allow them to get into a passing rhythm, because they really like to keep the ball on the ground and they play a beautiful brand of soccer."

Tates Creek 4, Murray 1

Goals—M: Taylor Richerson. TC: Ashley Whaley, Destinie Graves 2, Mallory Eubanks.

Goalkeepers—M: Elizabeth Grogan; TC: Arly Lankster.

Records—Murray: 23-3; Tates Creek: 21-1-4.

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