• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Lady Jackets tie Scott County, beat Frederick Douglass

MACKENZIE TUCKER keeps her eye on the ball while battling for position with a Scott County defender in the Lady Jackets' Sept. 20 game. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School Lady Jackets soccer team tied Scott County 0-0 on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The first half featured both teams trying to find a weak spot in the defense and both came up empty-handed. The Jackets were able to fire shots on the keeper but never got a clean look from the defense. Sophomore sensations Mackenzie Tucker and Shelbi Morrison both pushed the ball up the field ,but were always met by a solid Lady Cardinals' defense. Senior Makayla Devore and junior Jaylynn Murillo did not let the ball get past their position and into the defense most of the night. "I think as a team we had a hard time finding rhythm in the first half," said Murillo. "In the second half, we were more comfortable and even when we would come out of the game, it was very intense from the bench. The girls worked really hard and we clearly tried everything we could in this game. We had a good amount of chances but nothing would fall for us and some nights are like that." Senior Ashton Moore and juniors Savannah Karbach and Jasmine Collins played solid minutes in the game. All three defenders fought off the numerous attempts by the Cardinals in the first half. "Scott County came out and played the entire 80 minutes," said junior forward Kali Ratcliff. "They had a plan to execute and win this game the same way we did. At this point in the season, everyone knows what their team can do and so we try and put ourselves in the best position to be successful. They played us well tonight and we knew they would. At halftime, coach talked to us about the positives on the field and then gave us a list of things that Scott County was better at and how we can improve to counter them." In the second half, the Jackets controlled the ball on the Scott County side of the field for much of the 40 minutes. The Cardinals' defense bent but did not break under the Jacket attack. In the 36th minute, Morrison fired a shot from the 12-yard line that hit the left post and bounced out of bounds. "I thought their keeper had a great game," said Coach Brad Turpin. "Give them credit, the first five minutes we had a handful of chances and we didn't get it done. We moved Devore up in the second half and she instantly brings energy. She is the definition of leaving it all on the field. Devore is a great leader and sets a fine example." The final few minutes were played at a fast and furious pace, with both teams scrambling to make a play. Woodford got another pair of attempts at the net, but both times they were shooting through traffic and never really had a clean look at the keeper. "They came at us strong tonight," said junior midfielder Bella Addams. "Both teams just went at it on the field. It was a good atmosphere to be part of. Sometimes you can't sneak one in and give credit to them, they kept us out of the net." After the game, the team huddled together and Turpin spoke to his team. A big happy roar came from the group when they were told there is no training on Fridaybecause of Homecoming. Frederick Douglass The Lady Jackets hosted Frederick Douglass on Saturday, Sept. 23. The Lady Jackets have been a solid home team this season and took care of business again. After a scoreless first half, Turpin looked to senior leader Devore to provide a spark and the result was a pair goals by the Jackets to win the game. In the 47th minute, Tucker scored off a Devore assist and a minute later Devore scored off a Tucker assist. "Makayla is our emotional leader," said Turpin. "She is the heart and soul of this team. I think a lot of her on and off the field. She gets it. She wants to win and will do whatever it takes for our team. Just as she did at Scott County, her energy made a difference in the offensive third. Makayla knows how to leave it all on the field." The Jackets have two weeks remaining in the regular season and a battle with Lexington Catholic Wednesday night at home. Turpin knows that having everyone on the same page will lead to the team being successful in their postseason run. "Isabel Taylor has been performing well over the last few games," said Turpin. "She's connecting passes out of the back, more patience defensively. Jaylynn Murillo is a fun player to watch when her effort is at a high level. She battles to win balls and is a great distributor of the ball. To succeed going into postseason, we'll need her to perform at a high level. Our goal scorers are consistently struggling with composure in front of the goal. We are creating goal scoring opportunities but we have to start finishing them or our postseason may be short-lived."

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