Craig Harris/Macon County Times Macon County High junior Keeley Carter maneuvers in front of Springfield junior Adilene Ponce Solis.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Macon County High junior Keeley Carter maneuvers in front of Springfield junior Adilene Ponce Solis.

SPRINGFIELD -- Keeley Carter has been flexible this season.

However, she wasn't required to be when the Macon County High girls soccer squad played at Springfield on Oct. 2.

Carter stayed in one spot and erupted for a career-high seven goals as the Tigerettes rolled to a 9-2 victory over the Lady Jackets at J. Travis Price Park.

"Most of the time, I'm used to scoring three or less," Carter said. "Seven … I don't know … I was feeling it tonight."

The junior standout could have approached double figures, but she hit the left post twice with shots.

"It gives us the ability to have that safety valve if we're not playing well … we can just get it to Keeley," Macon County head coach Terrance Pryor said. "It helps us as a team to relax. We know Keeley can make something happen at any time, but sometimes, we're a little too reliant on her. Her ability to win one-v-ones (one-on-one battles for 50-50 balls) and her athletic ability is just uncanny.

"She's the best girls player I've seen come out of our county."

The Tigerettes built a 4-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the match.

In the third minute, a ball was played to Carter at the top of the box, and she one-touched it over to junior classmate Jamie Ashburn. Ashburn's unmarked shot sailed into the upper portion of the net.

Six minutes later, Ashburn dropped a pass back to the top of the box to Carter, and her unmarked shot sailed over the goalkeeper and into the upper portion of the goal.

Approximately a minute later, a give-and-go between Ashburn and Carter led to Carter's breakaway opportunity. She placed another unmarked shot inside the left post.

Then, in the 13th minute, Ashburn played a through-ball ahead to Carter, who ran it down and placed a low, diagonal shot inside the left post.

"We moved off the ball really well," Carter said. "We had a lot of good cuts.

"Me and Jamie have a lot of good chemistry, because we've played (soccer and basketball) together."

The fifth goal came when Carter's unmarked shot was batted straight up into the air by Springfield sophomore goalkeeper Leslie Lujan-Luis. The ball came down to the ground behind Lujan-Luis and in front of the goal, but Lujan-Luis couldn't handle it as it bounced into the goal.

"The first 25 minutes of the game, we did really well," Pryor said. "We created a lot of chances. We were calm in the back (defensively). We played possession in the attacking third (of the field), and we played some through-balls.

"We did some really good stuff in combo play and link-up early in the game."

Lady Jacket freshman Molly Brooke Smith scored six minutes later with a shot from approximately 30 yards out that sailed into the back corner of the net.

Then, Macon County was whistled for a handball in the box, and Smith deposited the ensuing penalty kick into the lower, right side of the net.

"We started subbing and seemed like we got a little discombobulated for the last 15 minutes (of the first half)," Pryor said. "Then, it took us 25 minutes of the second half to settle in. It's a little frustrating.

"Everybody is going to say, 'You won 9-2,' but we make too many mistakes to play a full 80 minutes. We probably played a good 45 or 50-minute game. Then, we're chasing and letting them take possession. We don't always press through adversity well. Imagine how good we can be if play a full 80."

Carter responded with a goal in the 39th minute, winning a 50-50 ball before converting to give her squad a 6-2 lead at halftime.

"Once we get up so fast, we feel like we don't have to play so hard," Carter said. "We kind of lay off.

"We picked it up toward the end."

Carter hit the left post with a shot twice in the second half, the first of which came five minutes into the half.

In the 69th minute, Carter gained possession, maneuvered through three defenders and deposited a shot into the right side of the goal.

Three minutes later, Tigerette freshman Macie Dillard slipped a pass over to Carter, who ran on to the ball and beat Lujan-Luis with an unmarked shot.

Then, Ashburn scored the final goal, converting in extended time.

Carter played exclusively at forward against Springfield, though she has also served as the team's goalkeeper at times this season.

"It's been different," Carter said. "It's the first time I've switched from going in goal to up top. When coach asked me to do it, I tried to do what was best for the team. I try to do what is needed."