• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets celebrate senior night with shutout

SENIOR CELEBRATION. The Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team celebrated senior night prior to its game against Corbin at home on Saturday, Oct. 1. Standing with their coaches, the seniors honored were, left to right, Lyndsay Vance (assistant coach), Abby Baylor (assistant coach), Katie Batman, Emma Sandman, Caitlyn Burdine, Elizabeth Watts, Sydney Smith, Camryn Pictor, Jessel Martinez, Lelia Graf, Brad Turpin, Jr. (head coach), and Craig Boyce (assistant coach). Not pictured: Elena Hitch (assistant coach). (Photo by Rick Capone)

With a light rain falling all night long, the Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team celebrated senior night at home in Community Stadium with a 6-0 shutout over Corbin. “The excitement of senior night carried over to the game,” said Woodford head coach Brad Turpin Jr. “The team came out with a lot of energy early. The girls held possession and controlled the tempo and pace of the game. “The seniors did a wonderful job of helping get us the lead early. Elizabeth Watts in particular showed well versus Corbin. She did a great job of receiving and finding the open person out of the back, striking the ball very well. “Sydney Smith provided some much needed pressure on the Corbin back four notching an assist. Sydney is a hard worker, loves to play, and is always smiling. I’m glad she was able contribute at a high level on senior night. “Jessel Martinez and Emma Sandman held down our right side of the pitch. Both of them always provide a lot of hustle regardless of what position they are on the field. “Lelia Graf is still working on coming back from a foot injury. Corbin was gracious enough to let her start the game and sub her immediately after kick off. Coach (Hannah) Goins, her staff, and her Lady Redhounds were great all around. All were very respectful and patient during our senior festivities. We can’t thank them enough.” Woodford then faced Western Hills in a districg matchup, on Monday, Oct. 3, and scored a 3-1win, which makes them 9-3-2 overall, 4-3-1 in the region and 3-0 in the district. Woodford closed out its regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Lexington Catholic. Results were not available at press time, but will appear in next week’s Woodford Sun. Before the game against Corbin got underway, Woodford honored its eight seniors – Katie Batman, Caitlyn Burdine, Leila Graf, Jessel Martinez, Camryn Pictor, Emma Sandman, Sydney Smith and Elizabeth Watts – in front a good-size crowd that didn’t let the rain spoil the festivities. “Senior night is always emotional for me,” said Turpin. “The girls always make fun of me because I cry very easily. I enjoy watching the players grow in the game, but more importantly see them grow into wonderful young women. To hear them talk about their appreciation for our staff, the program and the other coaches that had an impact on their lives shows how appreciative they are and how much the game of soccer had in their overall development. “This group of seniors are hard workers. All of them were dedicated to becoming better players. They all referenced underclassman in their speeches. They will have a lasting impact on the Woodford County High School women’s soccer program.” As Turpin noted, Woodford came out fast and furious in the first half, took an early lead and never let Corbin gain any momentum in the game. Woodford’s first goal came on a pass by Burdine to freshman Shelbi Morrison, who was near the front of the net and put it right by the goalkeeper. Burdine took matters into her own hands on the Lady Jackets’ second goal. Taking a pass from Smith, Burdine kicked it into the net for a 2-0 Woodford lead. Pictor scored the final goal for Woodford in the first half on a header off a corner kick, which gave the Lady Jackets a 3-0 lead heading into the locker room. Freshman Kailee Nobles got the assist. “Camryn Pictor’s header goal was a spectacular flick,” said Turpin. “We have been chatting a lot about executing and finishing corner kicks recently. We attacked corner kicks with numbers; always good to see going into the postseason.” Woodford picked right where they left off in the second half, as freshman Ava Crawford got one of her two goals on a pass by Nobles to make it 4-0. “Freshman Kailee Nobles continues to get more and more involved in our offense,” said Turpin. “Her performance will be critical for us going forward. We need her holding the ball, connecting passes and bringing some physical play in our offensive third.” Crawford then put away her second goal of the night on a nice pass by Burdine, which gave Woodford a 5-0 lead. “Ava Crawford finishing two goals was a happy time,” said Turpin. “Ava loves to play and is hyper competitive – all smiles.” Woodford’s final goal of the night came from freshman Mackenzie Tucker, with Burdine getting her third assist of the night. The goal made it a 6-0 ball game, which is how the game ended. ‘Caitlyn Burdine was involved in four of the six goals on senior night,” said Turpin. “When Burdine stays focused and has a lot of energy, we are a better team. Burdine runs our offense with her constant movement, dribbling to create space, and feeding the ball to our forwards.” Next up is the 41st District Tournament, which will be hosted by Woodford this year. On Monday, Oct. 10, Woodford plays Frankfort at 6 p.m. If Woodford wins, they will play the winner of Tuesday’s Franklin County-Western Hills game in the championship game on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.

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