By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
MIDDLESBORO–After Saturday’s 7-0 loss at West Jessamine, the South Laurel Cardinals were mired in a six-game losing streak when they paid a visit to winless Middlesboro Monday night.
This would be a good chance for the Cardinals to break their losing streak and get back in the win column, which is exactly what they did, rolling to a 6-0 win.
“We needed this win as a confidence booster,” South Laurel coach Amber Hensley said.
The Cards (2-7-0) will need all the confidence they can get as their next four opponents all sport winning records. After traveling to take on Corbin Thursday in a big district match, the Cards will then host George Rogers Clark before traveling to Estill County and Sayre.
But first things first. South needed to make sure it got the win against Middlesboro (0-5-0). Coming into the game, Hensley said one of her team’s problems was they weren’t taking too many shots outside of the penalty area. That changed against the Yellowjackets, and Hensley liked what she saw.
“Good things happen when you shoot the ball, especially from outside the box,” Hensley noted. “In our losses I’ve felt like we were waiting for the perfect shot. You can’t do that against good teams.”
It would be Rivers Atkins getting South on the scoreboard first in the 5th minute. He would also have a hand in the Cards next goal in the 9th minute when his free kick was saved by the keeper, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball. It squirted free and Noah Bronnert was there to pounced on it and make it 2-0.
Three minutes later, in the 12th minute, it would be Hunter House scoring to up the lead to 3-0. South would add one more goal in the half, in the 28th minute, when Ben Tonkel found Atkins, who fired a shot from 25 yards out that beat the keeper and made it 4-0.
Even though her team scored four goals in the first half, Hensley said they could have played better.
“We weren’t communicating,” Hensley said. “I pulled three or four of them in the first half for not communicating. You’ve got to talk. In the real close games that we’ve lost it was because we were confused and not communicating.”
The second half was a different story, as the Cards were more vocal, which pleased Hensley.
“I thought we played much better in the second half and communicated better,” she said.
South made it 5-0 in the 51st minute when Rivers crossed the ball to House, who scored his second goal. Then in the 54th minute it would be an own goal by Middlesboro which upped the lead to 6-0. House sent in a corner kick that the Middlesboro keeper got an arm to but the ball bounced off his arm and into the goal.
South had a couple of more chances to score in the half but failed to do so, including a penalty kick in the 67th minute by Jacob Hubbuch that the Middlesboro keeper made the save on.
The Cards travel to Corbin Thursday night for a 6 p.m. game.