LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Corbin rallied from an early 2-0 hole behind a pair of goals from Kaitlyn Waddle to top North Laurel 4-2. Corbin coach Eric Steely was concerned when his team fell behind in the 49th district matchup.
“We looked flat and North had all the momentum. I was nervous. It was all them to that point in the game,” Steely said.
One thing North Laurel did not have was a bench. With numerous injuries, most of the Lady Jaguars are forced to play a full game. North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth thought fatigue may have caught up with them.
“This team has will, desire, focus. They pass the ball better than any team I have coached. We just don’t have numbers and you can’t battle that,” Woodworth said. “But when you have to play at the highest level you possibly can for 80 minutes, you’re going to have times you just don’t have it left.”
The Lady Redhounds did get two quick shots in the first six minutes. Both were stopped by keeper Brittany Hood. A third shot sailed over the net. It was 10 minutes into the game when North Laurel got their first shot. A cross by Jenna Rockwell led to a shot for Samantha Helton, but the shot was blocked. Then Hood stopped a shot by Waddle as the defense kept North Laurel even.
With 22:40 to play, Jenna Rockwell put North Laurel on top. She spun around the defenders to get an angle on the ball. When she got the angle she wanted, it was not contest.
“She’s a goal scorer. That’s what she does,” Woodworth said.
With 17:10, Rockwell was first to a ball that bounced behind her when Corbin tried to clear. She fired quickly and banked it off the far post for a 2-0 lead. The second goal got Corbin’s attention.
“I think they just finally got motivated. I think when we gave up the first goal they were a little shell shocked. Then they gave up the second goal and it kind of roused them out of their stupor,” Steely said.
The Lady Redhounds fired three shots in just over three minutes. If the second North Laurel goal motivated Corbin, they got another boost when Madalyn Thompson scored their first goal. It was a tough shot that Thompson lifted over the keeper to the far post at a sharp angle.
“We got tired in the first half and when we got tired our defense sagged instead of tightening up. There logic was I am tired, so I need to give myself more room for error, but that gives the other team more room to work,” Woodworth said.
With 7:37 in the half, Waddle scored the first of her two goals from 25-yards out when got a good angle on the keeper. She scored the go-ahead goal two-minutes later off a corner kick.
“I told her she needed to take more shots from distance because she has an accurate shot. She’s always been one that looks to distribute the ball more. I told her if you have space, have at it,” Steely said.
Corbin would put a little more emphasis on Rockwell in the second half and keep the Lady Jaguars from scoring.
“They really tightened up on her. They had three standing around her at all times in the second half,” Woodworth said.
The Lady Redhounds added a goal with 6:10 to play when Morgan Boggs followed her own shot for the 4-2 final score.
“If we had not backed off that 10 or 12 minute span in the first half, or held that to a one or two goal scoring drive for them it would be a completely different story,” Woodworth said. “We played well. We held our own.”
The win was the third straight for the Lady Redhounds, (6-6) their longest streak of the season. Steely is still looking for consistency from a team that lost seven seniors and six starters last season.
“We don’t have any seniors starting right now and we only have two seniors on the roster. When you have a team like that with losing so many seniors, it’s a growing process,” Steely said.