LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
It didn’t take Mollie Dotson long to have an impact on the high school level. Midway through the first half of the opening game the North Laurel freshman scored her first varsity goal.
Dotson had to weave through three defenders before drilling the left-footed kick into the back of the net.
“I expected her to have one tonight. That’s what she does. She scores,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said. “She’s hungry to score. She’s not happy unless she scores.”
The unhappy showed three minutes later when Dotson just missed a second goal. Taking a pass from Kayla Huff, the shot just missed high. Dotson dropped her head in frustration that she had missed.
“She’s got great foot skills and a great knack for putting the ball in the back of the net,” Woodworth said.
Dotson’s goal opened the scoring in North Laurel’s 2-1 win over Perry Central Tuesday. The game-winning goal came from senior Kendra Smallwood, who is best known for her defensive skills at sweeper.
The Lady Jaguars got a pair of free kicks just outside the box. The first came when Allison Blanton was taken down outside the box, but the Lady Jaguars did not convert. Amy Corum took the shot on the second free kick, after the ball ricocheted around before Smallwood put it away.
“I’m really excited that we scored off a set play. Even though it wasn’t designed to go that way, it was encouraging,” Woodworth said. “When you get a corner kick or free kick, you should be thinking goal.”
North Laurel led 1-0 at the half with Perry Central getting almost as many shots as the Lady Jaguars.
“Throughout the entire game they played a little more aggressive than us. I told our girls we played weak. They were winning 50/50 balls,” Woodworth said. “We played a little weak, a little timid and that allowed them to possess.”
Most of the shots were smothered by keeper Kendall Ellington. A diving stop by Ellington kept the Lady Commodores from getting on the board about four minutes ahead of Dotson’s goal. She also stopped a breakaway goal in the second half.
“Kendall made a couple of really big saves. That’s what you expect from her,” Woodworth said.
Perry Central tied the score in the second half on a long shot that Woodworth let the officials know she did not think should have counted. Ellington jumped for the ball, but was taken down on the play. The ball came loose allowing the Lady Commodores to score.
“It was a great way to start the season. We got some of our younger girls in there to give them a little bit of a feel for what’s going on. The defense Is working through our new setup, getting a feel for how we need to shift,” Woodworth said.
North Laurel was scheduled to face Southwestern Thursday. The Warriors were 13-4-1 last season, while allowing just 14 goals. One of those wins was a 1-0 decision over the Lady Jaguars. Monday North Laurel will play at Corbin.