LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel jumped out to a 4-0 first half lead on Model that held up through the second half in its season opener.
“The first half was beautiful. We passed the ball well,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said. “We fixed things on the fly. If stuff was going wrong, we hollered at them and they fixed it.”
Not much went wrong in the first half. Not only did Model go without a goal. They went without a shot.
“I can’t complain about the first half. The second half, we turned our minds off,” Woodworth said. “I’m disappointed in the second half, but as long as we can learn from that we are good.”
North Laurel had three quality shots before getting on the scoreboard with 28:04 in the half with what Woodworth calls a “hustle goal.”
Samantha Helton put pressure on the keeper and knocked the ball free. Mollie Dotson was in the right place to collect the loose ball and take advantage of the open goal.
“Mollie got the goal, but Samantha caused that goal. We probably didn’t have a handful of hustle goals last year,” Woodworth said. “I told the girls on the bench it’s really nice to have two forwards that work well together and both have a knack for getting after it.”
With 13:35 in the half, Helton scored her first varsity goal in her first varsity game.
“She’s got a lot of promise. It’s funny because she told us she was a defender. I told her you are not,” Woodworth said. “She is aggressive and has a great touch on the ball.
With 6:28 in the half, Bela Delapena showed her strong leg by scoring on a direct kick for a 3-0 lead.
“Beautiful goals. All of our goals were well-earned,” Woodworth said. “Three different goal scorers, which is beautiful for us.”
North Laurel’s final goal came just before the half ended. Dotson worked the ball to the left side almost even with the goal and used the sharp angle to beat the keeper.
“She’s good at those. We have her positioned so she can use her right foot for that. Molly is a goal scorer. If we can get some other girls scoring goals, we will be in real good shape,” Woodworth said.
The Lady Jaguars would get fewer shots in the second half and could not add to their lead. The defense was also not as sharp with keeper Brittany Hood forced to make a few stops. The drop off in the second half was almost enough to make Woodworth have her team run after the game. Once she lined them up and saw all the bumps, bruises, and ice packs she decided against it.
“I told the girls they were just playing lazy. By that we mean mentally. They didn’t think about what they were going to do with the ball. They just kicked the ball,” Woodworth said. “We stopped putting pressure on the ball. They controlled the second half and we can’t have that.”