By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
In the two games of the girls’ 49th District soccer tournament, the South Laurel Lady Cardinals outscored their opponents, 22-0, to claim their eighth straight district title.
The Lady Cards opened tournament play with a 12-0 rout of Whitley County, then Thursday night, rolled over Corbin, 10-0, for another district title.
“Our focus coming into the tournament was to get our fitness level up,” South Laurel coach Todd White said. “We use the women’s national team as an example. They play 90 minutes with very little substitutions. We need to be in great shape and it showed tonight. We’re not getting as tired as quickly.”
Karli Parker, who was named the offensive MVP of the tournament, led the way with four goals. Kristen White (2), Sierra Forbes, Julie Fouts, Tiffani Moore and Shelby Davis added the other goals, which pleased White.
“We’ve got more than just Karli,” White said. “She has been a big part of our offense this year but now other girls are stepping up. That will only help us in the region and the state tournament if we get that far.”
A wicked blast by Parker in the 3rd minute rang off the post, just a warning shot of things to come. A minute later, her shot was deflected but right to White, who easily scored for the 1-0 lead.
Then it was Parker the rest of the half, scoring three goals to give her team a 4-0 lead at the half. She scored in the 6th, 17th and 40th minute.
“It was extremely important for us to jump on them like that,” White said. “Corbin is a physical team and I told the girls to match their intensity. I think we did and were the more physical team tonight without losing any our of finesse.”
South Laurel made it 5-0 in the 52nd minute when Meredith McCowan found White, whose shot was deflected to Forbes, who tucked it past the keeper. Fouts scored in the 56th minute to up the lead to 6-0, then Parker added her final goal in the 57th minute.
Moore scored in the 74th minute to make it 8-0. One minute later, McCowan found Davis, who got it back to McCowan who sent a cross in that White header home for the 9-0 lead. Davis capped off the scoring in the 78th minute to make the final 10-0.
“We had been attacking up the middle in the past but we’ve been working on taking it down the wings then crossing it to the middle,” White said. “I’m proud of the way my girls played tonight.”
White, McCowan, Holly Smith and Logan Joyce were named to the all-tournament team for South Laurel, while Brianna Bernard and Sidney Reed were named from North Laurel.
Both South and Corbin advance to this week’s 13th Region Tournament, to be played at South Laurel Monday and Wednesday. South will take on Bell County at 7:30 p.m. while Corbin meets Middlesboro at 5:30 p.m.. The winners play Wednesday night for the region title.