By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Karli Parker picked right up where she left off last season, scoring six goals to help lead the South Laurel Lady Cardinals to a 10-0 season-opening rout over visiting Somerset Monday evening.
Parker, who finished last season with 38 goals, score four in the first half, then finished off her scoring with two in the second before Coach Todd White took her out in the 52nd minute.
“Karli did what was expected of her,” White said. “It’s always nice to open the season with a win.”
From the opening whistle the Lady Cards (1-0) took control with four shots on goal in the first six minutes, but failed to find their mark. That all changed in the 7th minute when Parker blasted a shot from 20 yards out that beat keeper Topanga Brown for the 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, it was Parker again, from nearly the same spot, only this time her shot hit off the hands of Brown before going into the goal. Parker then assisted on the next goal when she found Kristen White, who beat Brown for a 3-0 lead in the 20th minute.
“Kristen got out of the gate slow, but after that goal she got things going,” White said.
The South Laurel domination continued when Sierra Forbes made a run down the right side, crossed the ball to an unmarked Parker, who easily scored to make it 4-0 in the 33rd minute. Parker made it 5-0 in the 36th minute and that’s how the first half ended.
Parker scored in the 42nd and 52nd minute to up the lead to 7-0. Her 52nd minute goal came off a free kick from 40 yards out. White took her out after her sixth goal.
While Parker might have been out, that didn’t mean the scoring stopped for South Laurel. In the 54th minute Forbes and a Somerset defended got to the ball at almost the same time in the penalty area. As the two collided, Forbes got her foot to the ball and lifted it past Brown for an 8-0 lead. Afterwards White praised the play of Forbes.
“Sierra had a really good game for us,” White said.
Haley House, coming off knee surgery, scored in the 57th minute, then Holly Smith’s goal in the 72nd minute made it 10-0 and the game was called due to the Mercy Rule.
While his team might have scored 10 goals, it was something else his team did that impressed White: Possession.
“We possessed the ball well tonight,” White said. “That, and defense, are the two things I measure our team on. We don’t work on a lot of finishing in practice. I feel like if you can control the ball and stop the other team from scoring, you will get your goals. This team is light years ahead of any other team I’ve had when it comes to possessing the ball.”
Baily Miller recorded the clean sheet in goal for the Lady Cardinals. After sitting out last season, Miller came back to the team this year after starting keeper Charity Humfleet tore her ACL in the Bluegrass State Games.
“We had to promise Baily almost rock star perks to come back,” White joked. “We are glad that she did.”
The Lady Cards will host George Roger Clark tonight (Wednesday) and Boone County on Saturday.