• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Lady Jackets win 7-1 on senior night against E. Jessamine


The Woodford County High School Lady Jackets' soccer team celebrated senior night with a 7-1 victory over East Jessamine on Sept. 30. The Lady Jackets held a pre-game ceremony to honor the seniors. Each player walked on the field and shook hands with the coaching staff before they were met by family members for a photo while their senior speeches played in the background. "Hearing the words that I wrote for this occasion really got to me," said senior defender Ashton Moore. "It was an emotional experience with my friends and family all there with me. It's something I will never forget." When the whistle blew to start the game, the Jackets came flying out of the gate. Sophomore Mackenzie Tucker struck the back of the net for the first time in the third minute of play. Sophomore Emma Oberlander got the assist on the score. "I was very overwhelmed by everything on the field before the game," said senior outside back Miranda Carl. "I think we stayed together as a team tonight and when we stay positive we can have big wins like this." A few minutes later, Tucker scored again off a Shelbi Morrison assist. The East Jessamine keeper came leaping at the attempt but was unsuccessful. Tucker scored her third goal in the fifteenth minute on a rocket by the keeper assisted by Makayla Devore. The Jacket defense did a great job of keeping the ball out of their defensive third for most of the night only allowing the one goal and only a handful of shots. "The defense played great in front of me," said senior goal keeper Kristen Jordan. "They always bring so much energy out here and they really picked us up tonight. I was definitely a bit emotional walking into goal tonight but we have to be ready to play and we got the job done." Shelbi Morrison scored the fourth goal of the game after being assisted by Raegan Gilbert and a minute later scored again off a Devore assist. Thirty seconds later, Carter Hays scored on a beautiful cross from Tucker that Hays snuck in just before running into the net. In the last minute of the first half, Lauren Rankin scored from a Oberlander assist to make the score 7-1. At halftime. "I remember my first senior night that I was part of and it always seemed so far away for me and so this is a very bittersweet feeling," said senior goal keeper Sydney Beavers. The second half was a tug of war between both teams where neither team gave up much ground and neither team got any great chances at scoring. The Jackets did not have the same energy in the second half that provided the big spark in the first. "This is a great group of seniors," said Coach Brad Turpin. "This is my first full class. They were freshman when I came in and to see what they have become is special." "It was pretty surreal before the game," said senior defender Tiffany Royster. "We seemed to settle down quickly once we started playing and luckily we had plenty of focus to win the game." Devore, a senior, played all 80 minutes in her last game on the home field. "I've heard seniors give their speeches before but you never know how you will react until your own words are playing back to you," said Devore. "I'm an emotional person by nature so it was hard to keep it together before the game. The game itself went well. The girls came out and were rowdy and fired up and that kind of energy leads to goals. " Lexington Catholic defeated the Lady Jackets 2-0 on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Community Stadium. Both teams came into this game playing well and the Jackets had not lost since a road game back on Sept. 9 at George Rogers Clark. The first half was a back and forth chess match and each team tried to find an open space to take advantage. The highlight of the first half was when Morrison snuck a ball by an out-of-position Lady Knights' keeper around the 12-yard line. Lexington Catholic sophomore defender Grace Mooring came sprinting from behind to stop the ball from going into the back of the net. The sensational play sparked the Lady Knights' sideline and was a big blow to the Jackets early on. "This game was a battle," said Moore. "The first half we held them off really well but in the second half we made a few mistakes that led to them scoring. Maybe we got out of position for a minute and that's what led to them scoring. I don't know for sure because it happened so quickly. We are taught not to foul in the defensive third and even small mistakes make a big difference in games like this." In the second half, the Lady Knights added pressure to the Jacket defense and created chances offensively. The first goal was scored after a foul call led to an indirect kick being knocked in after the ball rattled around in a scrum in front of the net. "As a group, I think we all wanted this game badly," said junior Jaylynn Murillo. "Before the game the girls were fired up. After the first goal in the second half, I think we got down for a bit but these girls know that we can't do that and they kept fighting. I am sure we will bring the same intensity to our next opponent and hopefully be successful. We really need to bounce back from this game and bring it to our next opponent is the best way we know." A few minutes later, a corner kick led to a second goal by the Lady Knights that pushed the Jackets back on their heels once more. A feverish pace broke out in the game with sophomores Tucker and Morrison made charges at the keeper but were sent back each time. Tucker was involved in multiple collisions close to the net in her attempts to score. "It's a tough loss but we have a game in a few days to get ready for," said junior defender Jasmine Collins. "We have tomorrow off then come back Friday with the proper mindset to be ready compete against East Jessamine on senior night. We talk all the time about how we need a positive first touch of the ball and if we stick to the small things like this then I think we will be okay. Maybe we will see them again." "We gave up two set pieces in the defensive third and that was the difference in the game," said Turpin. "I hate how it went down for them because I know the girls battled hard in this game."

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