By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A slow start with a strong finish equaled a 1-1 tie for the North Laurel against Somerset Thursday.
“The game started out slow. We were back on our heels and kind of let them do pretty much anything they wanted,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said.
The Lady Briar Jumpers scored an early goal off of what Woodworth called two mistakes by her defense. Junior Mary Schoolcraft took advantage of the mistakes and gave Somerset the 1-0 lead.
“We missed a ball and then we missed another ball and she was wide open,” Woodworth said. “It was a well-struck shot, back post. (Keeper Brittany) Hood had no chance at it.”
North Laurel rarely got the ball across midfield in the first half and didn’t get a quality look at the goal. Somerset would hold the lead most of the game, although North Laurel did play better in the second half after a challenge from their coach.
“Physically and mentally we had to play stronger because we were playing very weak. We were just missing balls, no confidence,” Woodworth said.
The basic message was for underclassmen to stop playing like middle schoolers and upperclassmen to stop playing like underclassmen.
“The second half we came out a different team, much stronger,” Woodworth said. “The second half was much more evenly played. We had a lot of opportunities.”
The Lady Jaguars would attack and control the final 20 minutes of the game. Sidney Reed was moved to the front to add explosiveness on offense. She almost scored as soon as the move was made.
Reed would take a ball from just past midfield into the box before she was tackled. A penalty kick was awarded with Jenna Rockwell scoring to tie the game.
“It was a hard a physical match, but the girls stepped up and played,” Woodworth said. “I would love to have had a win, but I definitely felt like we took a step in the right direction tonight.”
North Laurel will host Pulaski County Tuesday in their final home game. It will be senior night for three Lady Jaguars.
“It should be a good game. I expect it to be a lot like tonight, a good, physical, well-played game,” Woodworth said.