• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

WCHS girls’ soccer makes successful trip to State Games

JASMINE COLLINS takes control of the ball at the Bluegrass State Games. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team has come charging out of the gates at the Bluegrass State Games. Posting an impressive 3-0 record and not allowing one goal scored is a jumping point into the regular season. The team looks to get ready as quickly as possible and having an event like the Bluegrass State Games as pre-season sction is just what the doctor ordered for Coach Brad Turpin. “The Bluegrass State games is great because it does not count against our schedule,” said Turpin. “It gives me a chance to move girls around to other spots and see how they react. Mackenzie Tucker looks to be a big offensive threat for us this year, and Raegan Gilbert is a very talented player who is extremely fit. One big part of these games is it allows us to use Makayla Devore in the midfield and see how that develops as well.” At times, the Woodford team appeared explosive, as they put up three quick goals against North Laurel en route to the 4-0 win. Mackenzie Tucker tallied a pair of goals while Raegan Gilbert and Shelbi Morrison also scored. Senior Makayla Devore had a pair of assists in the win. In the second game Saturday, Woodford battled a tough North Bullitt County team. In the game, Emma Oberlander scored on an assist from Jaylynn Murillo, then fed Mackenzie Tucker, who scored two goals (one unassisted). The toughest matchup of the weekend came on a sloppy field following a heavy rain Sunday morning. Woodford sneaked past the Highlands squad on an unassisted Shelbi Morrison goal. The Woodford back line played well, and both keepers, Kristen Jordan and Sydney Beavers, held their own in net. On the JV side, the girls won a hard-fought game 1-0 against Campbell County on a goal by freshman Kamari Black on an assist from sophomore Maddie Martinez. The JV squad also tied Villa Madonna 0-0 in the second affair. The third game of the event was canceled when Dupont Manual withdrew from the competition. Forty-five girls were on the field for try-outs to show off their skill sets to Turpin. The players pushed through the paces of drills and game action. “We’ve been playing for almost 15 years.” said senior Makayla Devore. “We started playing WYSA when we were little girls, and now we’re seniors in high school. It’s crazy.” Turpin already has a good idea of the caliber players he will have with 32 returning members of the varsity and JV teams. “Woodford soccer is the place to be,” said senior Ashton Moore. Turpin is keeping a careful eye on the action as the scrimmages take place to help make team determinations. “I’m out here watching everyone. We will have a full varsity and JV team, and when I first came here four years ago, we started bringing up middle-schoolers as well to introduce them to our program,” said Turpin. “We like to get the younger kids used to the pre-season and our way of coaching, and it’s worked out really well by doing that. “Our numbers seem to increase every season,” he said. “Last week, we started ‘hive’ testing, which will determine who worked hard this off season and see where everyone falls.” With near record heat this past week, the team looks to capitalize on its morning practices and make that effort count. “We do two practices a day right now and the morning practice is my personal favorite,” said Devore. Practices from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. will be extra important with the August heat coming. “We take frequent hydration breaks, and our routine is adjusted according to the weather.” said Turpin. New JV head coach Anne-Spicer Adams will be making her debut this season. The Woodford graduate brings lots of knowledge to the team and will be a strong leader going forward. “We have a great coaching staff that devotes their time and energy to these kids,” said Turpin. “I couldn’t be happier with our group. The girls will get all that we have on a daily basis.”

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