• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets beat Danville and Johnson Central

RAEGAN GILBERT, white jersey, chases down a ball during the Woodford County High School girls’ soccer game at home against Danville on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Gilbert would score a goal later in the game, which Woodford won, 3-0. (Photo by Rick Capone)

The Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team had an excellent week of play, as they defeated Danville at home on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and then went on the road to Rowan County and defeated Johnson Central, 6-0, in the RC Classic. With those games complete, Woodford is now 7-2-2 overall, 3-2-1 in the region and 2-0 in the district. In the game against Danville, Woodford was without junior defender Makayla Devore and senior goal keeper Leila Graf, who injured her ankle in the previous game. In Graf’s place was junior goalkeeper Kristen Jordan, who did a great job all game long. From the start, Woodford was on its game and got on the board first at 30:02 when Burdine threaded a beautiful cross to freshman Shelbi Morrison, who was charging towards the net. Morrison got the pass and then booted a nice kick past the goalkeeper and into the net for the 1-0 lead. In the second half, Woodford remained in control and got two more goals, one by senior Raegan Gilbert and the other by freshman Mackenzie Tucker, which gave the Lady Jackets a 3-0 win. “Danville was our first full game without senior goalkeeper, Lelia Graf and junior defender Makayla Devore; both players are critical to our team’s success.” said Woodford head coach Brad Turpin Jr. “This being said, I was very proud of junior goalkeeper, Kristen Jordan and sophomore defender/goalkeeper Savannah Karbach. “Kristen Jordan is a gamer. She performs well in games, seems to get in the competitive zone. She wasn’t tested often versus Danville, but did have to make a few saves and finished with a clean sheet. “Raegan Gilbert brought us a lot of energy,” said Turpin. “She is very fit, works hard, and is very much a student of the game. She doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but after that goal, we did get a little jump in the air and a smile – very fun.” “Savannah Karbach has stepped up in a couple different ways for us. She is a pure athlete; moves well, fast, picks up on tactical details, etc. She’ll see a lot of time for us on the backline as a defender, but she also has been working with Coach (Lyndsay) Vance as a goalkeeper. She played goalkeeper as a youth player and also played basketball and volleyball at the high school level. She’s very versatile and her future is bright as a soccer player at WCHS.” “I felt really good about the team during warmups against Danville,” Turpin continued. “We warmed up with a lot of energy, moved the ball around well, finished with composure and power. Our staff has been telling the team it’s all about preparation – when we prepare properly, we perform well. “The Danville game proved this for us. The girls executed our game plan. We came into the game playing a 1-4-2-3-1 formation for the first time this season to attack the Danville flanks, and they executed it perfectly.” One player Turpin made note of from the game was sophomore Jasmine Collins. “Jasmine has come on as of late as a defender. She’s receiving the ball nicely, making good decisions, hustling to chase down players and win balls, and then distributing out of the back. Sometimes injuries force us as a staff to try things, use players in different places. That was the case with Jasmine.” Woodford followed their win over Danville with a 5-1 win over Johnson Central, which was played at Rowan County as part of their RC Classic tournament. Scoring goals in the game were Morrison, Tucker, Kailee Nobles, Emma Oberlander, and Lauren Rankin, while Burdine had two assists and Gilbert and Morrison had one each. “Johnson Central (in Eastern Kentucky) was our chance to play a team we may not normally play,” said Turpin. “… We won the game on talent. We didn’t possess the ball very well. I would have liked to see us stretch the field horizontally more using our outside midfielders, (but) it didn’t happen consistently. “We did an okay job giving our offense some depth with our forwards staying high on the very deep, last defender of Johnson Central. I would have liked us to take more advantage of Johnson Central’s deep defender. We missed 2-3 opportunities, one vs. one with the goalkeeper as well, and we could have easily scored 7-8 goals.” “I feel like we are doing 1-2 things correctly each game (individually and team) and technically and tactically, but we’re not bringing it all together. If we can start putting all the little things together in a game, we can make a deep run into the post season.” Turpin was also pleased with the play of a number of players in the Johnson Central game. To start, sophomore Jasmine Collins took on a defensive role and did very well. “We knew they had a couple goal scorers in Molly Davis and Bekah Preston,” said Turpin. “We took this chance to practice some “man-marking” tactics. Jasmine Collins assumed this “man-marking” role on Davis … She was on Davis and … it frustrated Davis almost immediately. Jasmine took her out of the game mentally and physically.” In addition, freshman Kailee Nobles has played well the last two game. “She seems to be getting a little more comfortable in the high school game; playing to her strengths,” said Turpin. “She’s a strong player, and can finish from distance. “(Senior) Emma Sandman is starting to come on at just the right time for us,” he continued. “She’s starting to play quicker and making some quality passes into space into the offensive third. “Mackenzie Tucker had a nice, composed goal from about 8-10yds out against Johnson Central. It was a simple pass away from the goalie. She is one of our top goal scorers with eighth goals this season. “(Senior) Camryn Pictor: continues to be our coach on the field, always instructing, very talkative. (Junior) Kristen Jordan had a great “kick save” in the second half, an continues to gain confidence between the pipes for us. Also, “(freshman) Isabel Taylor is gaining confidence. After getting over a random, nose bleed for most of the first half, she came on and provided some quality minutes. Like Pictor, Taylor is instructing and communicating on the field. “Shelbi Morrison scored once again and is leading our team with 13 goals in 11 games, (while senior) Caitlyn Burdine is leading the team in assists with nine. She has assisted on 25 percent of our goals this season.” Next up, Woodford plays Corbin at home on Saturday, Oct. 1 – Senior Night – at 8 p.m. The team then closes out the regular season with two away games. On Monday, Oct. 3, they play an important district game against Western Hills at 6 p.m.. That is followed by a game against Lexington Catholic on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. to end the regular season.

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