By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
For 79 minutes the South Laurel Lady Cardinals went toe-to-toe with visiting Madison Southern Wednesday night in girls’ soccer action.
The Lady Eagles came into London sporting an impressive 13-1-0 record, the second best in Region 11, while South Laurel was riding an 8-game winning streak.
Then came the 80th minute.
A free kick was awarded to Madison Southern around 40 yards from goal. Dakota Gadd sent the ball in front of the Lady Cardinal goal, where Rachel Ramey collected it and fired it past keeper Mariah House into the far corner, giving her team a hard-fought 1-0 win.
“We came in knowing they’d be a good team,” South Laurel coach Todd White said. “Their record proved that, and they are from central Kentucky.”
House was in the goal because regular keeper Charity Humfleet had to be taken out of the game in the 62nd minute when a Madison Southern player ran into her, blooding her nose and knocking the wind out of her.
“When we had to put Mariah in goal that took one of our playmakers off the field,” White said.
Not only that, but late in the game a couple of key Lady Cardinals went out of the game. In the 78th minute Karli Parker suffered a severe cramp and wouldn’t return to the game. Her replacement, Haley House, was hurt in the 78th minute when she collided with Rachel DeRossett.
“We are a little thin on the bench, and with the cramps and knocks we got in the second half, that hurt us,” White said.
The first half saw the Lady Cardinals (10-5-1) have several good chances, but no goals. In the 6th minute, Parker got past three defenders but the last one touched the ball away from her and right to Madison McCowan. But her shot sailed just wide. In the 20th and 21st minutes, Parker sent one over the crossbar and hit the side netting.
Madison Southern (14-1-0) came out at the start of the second half and took it to the Lady Cards, but South stood firm, keeping the game scoreless.
“They took it to us early in the second half,” White said. “They played physical with us but I don’t think we backed down.”
After withstanding that initial surge, the Lady Cards slowly began to get chances of their own, the best coming in the 71st minute when McCowan’s shot was saved by Kristyn Murphy. Still, the Lady Cards couldn’t find the back of the net, falling, 1-0.
“We played with passion and energy,” White said. “I’m proud of the way we played. They wanted to come out of here with a win, but we were unlucky in the end.”
The Lady Cards are now off until Monday when they will travel to take on Mercer County. Then on Wednesday they will finish the regular season at Lexington Christian Academy.
“It’s a good way to end the season and get us battle-tested for the district tournament,” White said.
Before the match South Laurel honored seniors Sarah DeCarlo, Mariah House and Kayla Cornett.
On Monday the Lady Cards traveled to Richmond Model and came away with a 10-0 win. Parker and Mariah House led the way with three goals each, while McCowan added two and Kristen White and Sarah DeCarlo had a goal each.