• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS girls’ soccer season ends with loss in region

The Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team saw its 2016 season come to an end with a 2-0 loss to Lexington Catholic in the semifinals of the 11th Region tournament, which was held at Community Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 20.

With the loss, Woodford finishes the season with a 12-5-3 overall record, a 7-5-1 region record and a 5-0 district record after winning their seventh consecutive 41st District title.

After the championship game on Saturday, Oct. 22, where Lexington Catholic defeated Henry Clay to win the 11th Region title, senior Caitlyn Burdine and sophomore Savannah Karbach were named to the 11th Region All-Tournament team.

In the game against Lexington Catholic, both teams played a solid game, fighting hard to get any offensive opportunities, while the opponents’ defenses stopped each other at every turn.

At the half, the game remained scoreless as both teams went into the locker room for the break.

In the second half, Lexington Catholic capitalized on a couple plays and scored both of its goals to get a 2-0 win and advance to the 11th Region championship game at Community Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22.

“The girls battled and left it all on the field,” said Woodford head coach Brad Turpin Jr. “All of them played hard for 80 minutes. The intensity was electrifying to me. I am proud of them.”

In Woodford’s opening game of the region tournament, had two goals to help the Lady Jackets score a 2-0 win, which allowed them to advance to the semifinals.

Assisting on her two goals were junior Makayla Devore and senior Leila Graf.

“The Bryan Station game was the epitome of discipline and execution,” said Turpin. “The girls spent quite a bit of time watching our game film online from the scrimmage versus Bryan Station in August. They educated themselves through an extensive scouting report prepared by Coach Craig Boyce. They put it all together and made it happen: moved the ball around along the backline, through the midfield and took advantage of the gaps created in the Bryan Station defense.”

Turpin also commented on Burdine’s two goals.

“Burdine wanted to win, no doubts there,” he said. “She made it clear to everyone. Her work rate was at a high level and motivated us all, players and coaches. Her drive to succeed is amazing.

“One of Graf’s strengths are distance from her goal kicks and punts; in this case a punt that Burdine received past midfield and took it to goal to finish. Burdine knew she’d have space to attack on the dribble and did so.”

Turpin also took some time to look at the contributions of some of his players in the region tournament.

“Savannah Karbach played the game of her season versus Lexington Catholic,” said Turpin. “The progress she has made throughout the season is amazing – coming from JV to varsity to starting in the region semifinals. The future is bright for Savannah at WCHS. She truly is a team player, tons of effort, and willingness to do whatever it takes to help our team.

“Lauren Rankin’s aggression, distribution and intensity in the Bryan Station game and the first half of the Lexington Catholic game led us to high levels of competitiveness. It was because of her play that we were able to control the midfield and possess the ball. Her ability to read the game and defensively attack players before they even receive the ball is a gift not a lot of soccer players have, male or female.

“Camryn Pictor and Makayla Devore continued their dominance on the backline; easily two of the best defenders in the state. Raegan Gilbert’s patience, decision making and aggression were spot on versus Lexington Catholic. That level of a game seems to excite and motivate Raegan.”

Following the success of the 2016 campaign, Turpin took a moment to look ahead to the future of the WCHS girls’ soccer program.

“We are in a very promising time for the WCHS women’s soccer program,” he said. “Eight freshman were regular participants at the varsity level this season with five of those being regular starters throughout the year. Two sophomores were regular starters throughout the year as well.

“It’s hard not to be motivated and excited for what the future holds for the program,” he continued. “The young players gaining this valuable experience as freshman and sophomores will develop them exponentially as they progress through the program.

“The 2016-2017 seniors for the Woodford County High School women’s soccer will leave us with several holes to fill come 2017-2018, but it’s hard not look forward with great promise at the youth returning.”

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