• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS girls’ soccer shuts out district rival Franklin Co.

LAUREN RANKIN had a goal and two assists to help the Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team defeat district rival Franklin County 5-0 at home on Monday, Aug. 29. (Photo by Rick Capone)

The Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team got down to business against Franklin County at home on Monday, Aug. 29, and shut them out 5-0 in the first district contest of the season for the two teams. Originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, Aug. 27, the game was postponed due to lightning and finally played on Monday. “After waiting a few hours Saturday evening and then having to cancel, the anticipation of this game continued to build and build,” said Woodford head coach Brad Turpin Jr. “WC / FC has turned into an annual rivalry; both teams fielding competitive teams year-in and year-out in the 41st District.” On Monday, the game was also delayed for an hour. Originally scheduled or 6 p.m., the game didn’t start until a little after 7 p.m. Woodford got on the scoreboard first when freshman Shelbi Morrison received a pass from freshman Mackenzie Tucker and put it into the net for a 1-0 lead. “We got on the board quick with Shelbi Morrison taking a beautiful ball from Mackenzie Tucker for the first goal,” said Turpin. “That quick goal took the wind out of te Franklin County sails.” The two reversed positions for the second goal, with Morrison hitting Tucker on a pass and Tucker scoring the goal for a 2-0 Woodford lead. “Mackenzie Tucker and Shelbi Morrison have become quite the pair up top with Caitlyn Burdine showing them the ropes, instructing, feeding them passes through the gaps, bending balls around the back-line, and, occasionally, chipping over the back line. Tucker and Morrison are learning a lot on the field from Burdine.” Tucker then scored one more goal in the first half, this one unassisted, to give her team a 3-0 lead at the half. In the second half, junior Lauren Rankin got into the scoring action, as she made a nice pass to Morrison who put it into the net for a 4-0 Woodford lead. The final goal of the game was a beauty, as senior Caitlin Burdine ran across the front of the Franklin County net, where she left the ball for Morrison, who passed to Rankin for the score and the 5-0 win. “The best goal of the year so far was our fifth,” said Turpin. “Lauren Rankin received a pass from Shelbi Morrison at the top of the goalie box, Lauren struck a ball very nicely towards goal. Caitlyn Burdine, with her back to the goal, went to receive Lauren’s shot, but instead, let it go between in her feet – right in the goal. The defenders and GK for Franklin County never saw it coming. Amazing. Unfortunately, on the ‘stat sheet’ none of these details will show, but they should. Burdine has grown into quite the player, both technically and tactically.” Overall, Turpin was pleased with his players’ performance saying, “I was proud of the girls’ intensity to start the game. This type of start is what we talk about often. I hope it begins to become the norm.” He also noted the play of some of his other players. On Lauren Rankin, he said, “It was good to see Lauren Rankin get involved in the offense this evening. She loves to connect her passes and give us scoring opportunities; with her knocking one or two in herself occasionally, it gives our offense another weapon.” On goalkeeper Leila Graf he said, “Lelia Graf continues to perform well in goal as well. We are very pleased with her goal kicks and punts. To have a goalkeeper that sends a goal-kick 60 yards into our offensive half of the field is unheard of at this level. What a weapon to relieve some pressure defensively. We have been able to work in Kristen Jordan in goal occasionally as well; we need her comfortable back there as well.”

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