Sports

West Jessamine dusts Tates Creek 4-1 in girls' soccer

West Jessamine's Arin Gilliland (16) split two Tates Creek defenders in the first half of their game Wednesday in Nicholasville. Gilliland, still recovering from mononucleosis, scored three goals.
West Jessamine's Arin Gilliland (16) split two Tates Creek defenders in the first half of their game Wednesday in Nicholasville. Gilliland, still recovering from mononucleosis, scored three goals. Gabriel B. Tait

NICHOLASVILLE — A few weeks ago, Arin Gilliland was so exhausted from battling mononucleosis that she couldn't even get off the couch.

"I was laying on the couch for three weeks and couldn't move," the West Jessamine senior said.

Her coach came to visit and bring over a card. He couldn't believe how sick his star player was.

"She was like a rag doll," Kevin Wright said.

No way her coach could have imagined that that same rag doll would bounce back so quickly, scoring three goals and assisting on a third in the second half of the Colts' 4-1 victory over Tates Creek.

Both teams were ranked at No. 5 in this week's statewide soccer poll.

West Jessamine trailed 1-0 at the half and was flat.

"That was atrocious," said Gilliland of the effort. "That's probably the worst we've played all season."

"It takes a spark to start a fire," he said he told them. "Who's going to be that spark?"

Gilliland, a University of Kentucky commitment, is the one who got hot.

Her first goal four minutes into the second half was a trick shot from the corner, which she slammed past keeper Arly Lankster.

"We just piggybacked off that," Wright said of Gilliland's first goal.

Nine minutes later, Gilliland's header off a corner kick went off the top post. So two minutes after that, she found junior Maddie Lockridge to give the Colts a 2-1 lead.

That's when things unraveled for the Commodores, who came into the game undefeated.

They had given up just three goals in their first six games before allowing four Wednesday night.

"Once they scored the first goal, we were still in the game, but mentally we had checked out," Coach Bo Lankster said. "We panicked ... We have to learn to play more consistent for longer stretches against better teams."

Gilliland would score two more goals in the next seven minutes, both bullet shots from well outside the 20-yard mark, and the Commodores were done.

The senior star, who has nine goals this season, guessed she's probably playing at about 85-90 percent of her old self, still recovering from what she called "the worst case of mono you can imagine."

Wright corrected her.

"I'd say she's probably closer to 75 percent, but when she gets to 100 percent, look out," her coach said.

He still can't believe she's the same rag doll he saw on her couch just a few short weeks ago.

"It's just will," he said. "She just has amazing will. ... It comes from within."

West Jessamine 4, Tates Creek 1

Goals—TC: Destinie Graves; WJ: Arin Gilliland 3, Maddie Lockridge. Goalkeepers—TC: Arly Lankster; WJ: Allison Brown, Rebekah Hulsing.

Records—Tates Creek 6-1, West Jessamine 5-1.

  Comments