GERMANTOWN – Tupelo Lady Wave soccer players Abbie Banko and Katie Taylor were in a familiar spot for Saturday’s match against Germantown … on the sideline.
Both players, who suffered ankle injuries early in the season, are hoping to return to action in the state playoffs.
Banko, a senior defender, played briefly in three matches. Taylor, a junior forward, played in two matches before undergoing surgery.
“It’s very discouraging to not be able to play,” said Taylor, standing with crutches. “It’s really hard, but I like cheering everybody on.”
Taylor’s working in rehab with hopes of playing in the postseason. “I’m going all-out crazy, doing all I can,” she said.
Banko, who wears a walking boot on her right ankle, has her sights set on a postseason return.
“It’s been awful not playing,” she said. “We’ve had some younger players really step up and fill the gaps. They’ve really been fun to watch.”
Tupelo coach Hannah Kimbrough, whose team suffered its first defeat of the season Friday with a 1-0 loss to Clinton, said the injuries have opened the door for some younger players.
“We’ve been able to play a lot of young players early and we’ve had a lot play well for us,” she said.
However, Tupelo lost one of its younger players, freshman Hannah Ellis, to a knee injury in the loss to Clinton. Also, sophomore defender Liza Wise suffered a head injury against Brandon. The extent of their injuries is not known.
The Lady Wave (11-1) rebounded from its loss to defeat Germantown 3-1 and Brandon 2-1.
Charde Hannah, McKenzie Darnell and Lauren Kate Carter scored goals against Germantown. Carter’s shot came off a rebound in the goal.
Freshman Lexi Pund scored the game-winner against Brandon, when her shot from the left wing just dipped in under the right corner of the net.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ ’’ Pund said. “At first I thought it was going to be a field goal.” The football goalpost is right behind the soccer goal.
Golden Wave sweep
Tupelo’s boys (9-0-2) remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win against Germantown and a 4-0 victory against Brandon.
Hunter Johnson, Logan Little and Kevin Armstrong scored against Germantown.
The Wave scored all its goals against Brandon in the second half. Chase Cernigliaro had two while Armstrong and Andrew White had one each.
“We possessed the ball and put passes together instead of kicking the long ball like we did Friday,” Tupelo coach Harris Faucette said.
Tupelo and Clinton tied 1-1 in Friday’s match at Clinton.