LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Playing back-to-back district games can be tough on a team, especially when the two games were contested with rivals.
But that’s what South Laurel had to do last Friday night.
Twenty four hours after beating Corbin, 5-1, the Lady Cardinals traveled across town to take on North Laurel, where they emerged victorious, 4-0.
“I was a little concerned about this game, coming off an emotional victory over Corbin the night,” South Laurel coach Todd White said. “I felt our physical condition would not be a problem but I thought the girls would be drained emotionally.
North Laurel’s plan was to put everybody back on defense to keep the game close. That worked, as South only led, 1-0, at the half thanks to a Karli Parker goal.
“We played well defensively the first half,” North Laurel coach Becki Woodworth said. “The second half they pretty much got whatever shot they wanted.”
“We played right into her hands in the first half with playing a slow tempo and a possession game which gave them time to sink back deep into the box which made it like shooting a ball in the forest, White said.”
Parker was able to penetrate that forest when she beat her defender around the left side. Her shot beat keeper Kendall Ellington to the near post.
The Lady Cards changed their game plan for the second half, wanting to increase the tempo and play more direct.
“We wanted a lot of shots and less possession,” White said.
It worked, as South Laurel added three more goals to compete the 4-0 clean sheet.
Parker sent a ball toward the goal where Kristen White connected with her head and directed the ball past Ellington to make it 2-0. After that, the Lady Jaguars started to press forward, trying to score. That proved costly when they lost the ball near midfield, where Meredith McCowan played the ball over the top to Parker, who beat Ellington to make it 3-0. Both goals came in the first four minutes of the half.
The fourth and final goal came in the 65th minute when Logan Joyce crossed a ball to Mariah House at the far post. She connected and scored, giving South a 4-0 victory.
“We were a little slow to start but a lot of that had to do with the game plan of North playing a defensive game,” White said.
“Offensively we have to continue to work on possession, supporting each other and finding the easy pass,” Woodworth said. “We are looking at the big picture right now, and if we continue to improve each game we will be where we need to be at the end of the season.”
“I am very pleased with my team on how well they adjusted at the half when we changed our game plan,” White said. “It is good to know that we have the No. 1 seed wrapped up for our tournament, which we will host.”
South Laurel played host to Whitley County Tuesday, and will travel to take on Middlesboro Thursday. Lincoln County came to North Laurel Tuesday while the Lady Jags will travel to Hazard Thursday.