By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WILLIAMSBURG—North Laurel posted a 5-0 win over Whitley County Monday led by a pair of goals from Mollie Dotson. A good sign for the Lady Jaguars was not just the number of shot attempts, but the velocity of the shots that were taken.
The Lady Jaguars previous win had been a 6-0 decision over Wayne County on Thursday. In that win, North Laurel had out shot the Lady Cardinals 24-0 in the first half. Most of those shots were not hard enough to break glass. That was not the issue Monday when most of the shots were struck with force.
“Too bad we hit the keeper with them,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said. “We had three breakaways that we hit her with.”
Putting more power behind shots was something Woodworth has been trying to get her players to accomplish. It was reinforced when they went to halftime with a 3-0 lead that could have been larger.
“I told them at halftime that if they weren’t going to hit the ball hard then they weren’t going to hit the ball at all,” Woodworth said. “We did blast some. That’s better than the little pansy shots.”
It took about 10 minutes for the Lady Jaguars to open the scoring with a goal by Chelsey Hensley on a shot from about 25 yards.
“That’s her favorite range,“ Woodworth said.
Hensley would also play a role in the second goal. Her pass set up Dotson. Although the keeper was able to get a hand on the ball, Dotson was able to direct it into the goal. Dotson added her second goal with 12:00 in the half. Dotson won a footrace with a defender after taking a pass from Allison Blanton.
Kendra Smallwood got the scoring started quickly in the second half with a sliding goal. Blanton closed out the scoring with a shot in front of the goal.
It was a fun night for the Lady Jaguars, but Woodworth wanted them to play for more than fun.
“We came out here thinking we’re going to win, no big deal. We passed the ball very well, but we didn’t come out here with any type of killer mentality,” Woodworth said. “I’m trying to get them to understand that they have to come out here with an attitude, ‘We’re better than you and we’re going to prove it’.”
That translates into playing hard every second, every game, no matter the level of the competition. It is something Woodworth would like to see from her team as they close out the regular season.
“This is a good win. Don’t get me wrong, we passed the ball very well tonight. We had some great sequences. We just did not play with any sort of intensity,” Woodworth said.
North Laurel is off until Monday when it plays Bell County. It will be a chance for North Laurel to post back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The regular season ends next week with games against Danville and Somerset.
The Lady Jaguars should also get a boost from players returning to the lineup from injuries. Megan Lewis was back on the field Monday and made an immediate impact.
“We still have a couple (out), but we’re working in the right direction,” Woodworth said.
North traveled to East Jessamine on Saturday and came away with a 3-1 loss in a battle of Lady Jaguars.