September 9, 2013

Shutout of Whitley gives Lady Jags back-to-back win

By Mitch Howard
Sports Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — North Laurel picked up its second straight win with an easy 9-0 decision over Whitley County Thursday. The two wins push the Lady Jaguars back to .500 and erases a tough first two weeks of the season.

“They just feel better about themselves. Soccer is fun again. It always helps to have wins and play well,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said.

The Lady Jaguars wins over Whitley County and Hazard came by a combined 17-1. Woodworth said her team may have played more aggressive in Tuesday’s 8-1 win over Hazard. Against Whitley County, she described the play as more fluid.

“I think we played better tonight. We moved the ball around decently well,” Woodworth said.

Also for the second straight game, North Laurel had different players scoring, led by Jenna Rockwell with four goals. It was the debut game for Rockwell, who has been playing club soccer.

“The girls came up to me yesterday and just said can we please ask Jenna to play. I said sure. She came out and immediately had a huge impact for us. She’s explosive and her ball skills are the best around,” Woodworth said.

The Lady Jaguars held a modest 3-0 lead at halftime, paced by a pair of goals from Bela De La Pena. North Laurel also got a goal from Samantha Helton in the first half.

“I felt like we were a little lethargic in the first half. Just kind of going through the motions and playing,” Woodworth said.

That is exactly what she told the team at halftime and challenged them to change it in the second half.

“We took the challenge at halftime and doubled our output from the first half,” Woodworth said.

Rockwell scored her first goal to open the second half. Rockwell and Chelsey Hensley both battled the defense for control in the box with Rockwell getting the open look. Another goal by Rockwell on a through ball made it a 5-0 lead.

With 23:40 remaining, tenacious effort led to a goal for Amber Creech. At 8:22, Helton flipped a ball back to herself and finished for a 7-0 lead.

“We played well and again different girls put goals on the board. That’s the big thing for us. Multiple scorers are going to be big for us. We can’t rely on one person because any team can take out one scorer,” Woodworth said.

Rockwell made it 8-0 on an assist from Creech. Rockwell added the final goal with 3:22 remaining.

North Laurel keeper Brittany Hood picked up her second shutout of the season.

“Brittany Hood made some decent saves tonight to keep the shutout. It was good for her to get another shutout. She certainly deserved one with how many shots she’s seen lately,” Woodworth said.