University High girls soccer coach Melissa Ramsey was a little nervous before Monday’s game against Franklin Parish.
The No. 3 Cubs hadn’t played in close to a week after earning a first-round bye in the Division III playoffs, and she was worried there might be lingering rust.
The Cubs quelled those concerns and more with a dominant 7-0 win on its home field.
“I felt like it took us a while to get started because we haven’t played in a while,” Ramsey said. “That’s probably why it took us 15 or 20 minutes to score. We were a little rusty, but once we got into the rhythm of the game, we got a little bit better.”
The slow start Ramsey referenced was actually after the Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, then taking another 15 minutes to find another score.
After that, the ball rarely left No. 14 Franklin Parish’s side of the field as U-High maintained constant offensive pressure for the full 80 minutes.
The handful of times the ball crossed midfield, the Patriots never controlled possession for longer than a few seconds before the Cubs promptly brought it back into their offensive third of the field.
The lone exceptions were a pair of free kicks near midfield that gave Franklin Parish a brief moment of excitement, one of which resulted in a shot on goal, albeit wide of the post.
The entirety of the rest of the game was played in front of the Patriots’ goal as U-High took 51 shots, including 25 on frame.
“It was nerve-racking,” said U-High’s Clacey Tibbits on the game's start. “It was an eye-opener that we needed to step up and calm down and play like we play.
“After that first goal that (Madison Bauder) scored, we had it in the bag. That brought the whole team up and brought us together.”
Tibbits was the only player to score multiple goals.
She hit the back of the net in the 21st minute with a low-driving ball that deflected off a defender’s foot and into the goal.
She also put in another goal less than three minutes into the second half, which sent U-High emptying its bench for the rest of the night.
U-High plays the winner of No. 6 Parkview Baptist and No. 11 Haynes Academy in the next round. That game is scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Parkview.