LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Karli Parker has found her scoring touch.
During South Laurel’s first eight games, the sophomore forward scored only four goals. During that stretch, the Lady Cards were 3-4-1.
But over the last five games she has tallied 11 goals, including three on Saturday, as South Laurel downed visiting East Jessamine, 3-1.
It’s no coincidence that South Laurel is 5-0 during Parker’s resurgence as a goal scorer.
“Karli has got her scoring foot back,” South Laurel coach Todd White said. “While she was struggling, her teammates picked us up. That’s what I love about this team.”
White also loved the fact that his team was able to beat a central Kentucky squad.
“It’s a great win to beat East Jessamine,” White said. “They are usually in the Top 25 or mentioned for the Top 25. They are a club-fed team and it’s a great victory for our program.”
While East Jessamine (7-5-0) aren’t currently in the Top 25, the Lady Jaguars have wins over some quality opponents this season, including Danville (6-2, a team South Laurel tied 1-1) and Lincoln County (3-1, one of the Lady Patriots two losses). East has also lost close matches to once-beaten Madison Southern (3-2), and twice to Mercer County, 2-1 and 3-2, both in shootouts.
It would be the Lady Jaguars getting on the scoreboard first, in the 12th minute, when Devon Burnside scored her 20th goal of the season after getting past the defense and beating keeper Charity Humfleet. It wouldn’t take long for South Laurel to respond.
Two minutes later, Parker worked her way through the defense and fired a shot that beat Heather Welch, tying the match, 1-1. From there, South Laurel (8-4-1) started to take control of the match. Just seconds after Parker scored, Haley House sent a nice ball to Parker, but this time Welch made the save. She wouldn’t be as fortunate two minutes later, when House found Kayla Cornett, who got the ball to Parker. Her shot was low and to the near post, where Welch got her hand on it, but couldn’t keep it from crossing the goal line. The half would end with South leading, 2-1.
The Lady Cardinals would come out a little lackadaisical at the start of the second half, which prompted White to remind his team that they are in the lead and to play like it.
Parker completed her hattrick in the 56th minute when her shot from 18 yards out beat Welch to the far upper corner for a 3-1 lead. That would be the last goal of the match, but not the last chance.
In the 70th minute Parker took a pass from Haley House and fired, hitting the outside of the past. In the 75th minute, Kristen White’s shot banged off the crossbar.
“The girls played with heart,” White said. “That’s all I ask for.”
White is also pleased with the play he’s getting from his substitutes.
“I’m getting good minutes from our bench,” White said. “We are stronger and deeper than we’ve been in a while.”
The Lady Cards are scheduled to travel to take on Bell County Thursday.