By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
ace Tuesday night as the South Laurel Lady Cardinals downed visiting Southwestern, 6-2.
By the time an hour had passed, the Lady Cardinals (4-0) were already leading 6-0. Southwestern pulled two goals back late in the contest as the Lady Warriors fell to 3-1.
“We came out and possessed the ball and kept it from them,” South Laurel coach Todd White said. “It showed as we wore them down. My girls are getting in shape; our fitness level is improving. By post season we will be one of the fittest teams around.”
“We didn’t play as well as I would have liked,” Southwestern coach Nick Stringer said. “I thought we had several quality chances in the first half to score and just didn’t finish.”
The contest featured the two leading scorers in the state in South Laurel’s Karli Parker (13 goals) and Southwestern’s Brandi Abrams (11 goals). In the end it was Parker getting the better of Abrams as she tallied two goals to Abrams’ one.
But Parker could have had more. She hit the crossbar on a penalty kick in the sixth minute, then missed just wide in the 11th minute. She would finally find the back of the net in the 28th minute off an assist by Shelby Davis.
South Laurel coach Todd White was happy to see other players score besides Parker. Coming into the match she had scored 13 of South Laurel’s 17 goals in three games.
“We can’t put all the load on Karli,” White said. “She’s going to have an off game or be double-and-tripled teamed so other players have to step up.”
The Lady Cardinal defense also played well, holding the states leading scoring team to just two goals. The Lady Warriors came into the match averaging 8.7 goals per game.
The Lady Cards made it 2-0 in the 35th minute when a Haley House cross found Tiffani Moore, who beat keeper Kaylee Shepherd.
Southwestern had a good chance to get one of those goals back in the 46th minute but Abrams’ shot rang off the post. Three minutes later, Kristen White scored for South Laurel to make it 3-0.
Over the span of the next 12 minutes the Lady Cards would score three more goals as the rout was on. A Parker cross was tried to be cleared out by Southwestern’s Whitney Vanhook, but the ball hit off her leg and past the keeper for an own goal and a 4-0 lead. Julie Fouts scored in the 56th minute, then in the 61st, a White cornerkick found Parker, who headed it past Shepherd to up the lead to 6-0.
“When the other team has a player the caliber of Parker you have to finish your chances because you know she is going to finish hers,” Stringer said.
A Hanna Ratliff goal in the 65th minute cut the lead to 6-1, then Abrams scored off a free kick in the 78th minute to make the final 6-2.
“Abrams is a dynamic player and tough on opposing defenses,” White said.
The Lady Cards were scheduled to travel to Madison Southern Thursday.