LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Maybe how this game ended could be seen when the game started. Garrard County had enough players on its bench to field another team. North Laurel had two reserves and by the end of the game one of those was propping up what was possibly a broken ankle.
“At the end it comes down to us being exhausted again,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said. “We run out of gas and there is just not a whole lot you can do about that.”
The Lady Jaguars were furiously defending every Garrard County shot and it looked like they might be able to hold on for a 2-1 win. With 4:43 to play, a Garrard County corner kick ricocheted off a North Laurel knee to tie the game. That was how it ended.
“That was just unlucky. That’s just hustling to the goal and getting a bad touch. That happens,” Woodworth said.
The start wasn’t much better than the finish for North Laurel. Their best play came in the middle of the game.
“We started the game very tired, mentally and physically very tired. The first half was very slow, very unaggressive,” Woodworth said.
That led to an early goal by Garrard County on a through ball. North Laurel had a chance to tie in the closing minutes of the half when Jenna Rockwell’s shot on a through ball was corralled by the keeper on a good save. Rockwell would tie the game with 28:29 remaining on an assist from Gabby Chamberlain.
“They came out the second half and turned it up. They played very well in the second half. I really like the effort they came out with in the second half. Basically we beat them 2-1 in the second half. If we had played that way the whole game it’s a different story,” Woodworth said.
North Laurel took the lead with 18:38 to play with Sidney Reed moving from sweeper to midfield. Reed’s speed allowed her to beat the defense to a ball, which she fired in stride for a goal.
With the lead, Woodworth was able to move some of her more experienced players to defense. It was working well as Garrard County found a lot of shots, but few quality shots. The Lady Jaguars also got inspired play from keeper Brittany Hood, including a diving save with 5:00 to play.
“Hood had huge saves at the end of the game for us that allowed us to preserve the tie,” Woodworth said.
A win over the Lady Lions (9-2-1) would have been a nice boost for North Laurel. They will get a chance to rest with four days off until they play at Madison Southern Tuesday.
In other action, South Laurel traveled to Lafayette and were beaten, 4-0. They will travel to take on Pulaski County Tuesday.