• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Tates Creek ends Lady Jackets’ season

JAYLYNN MURILLO fights to keep possession of the ball in the district opener against Frankfort on Wednesday, Oct. 11. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team’s season came to an end Monday night in a terrific battle at Henry Clay High School. The Jackets lost 1-0 in the first round of the regional tournament to Tates Creek in a defensive battle for 80 minutes. Shae Robertson of Tates Creek scored the lone goal of the game. The goal came on a deflection from the keeper. Kristen Jordan made a diving stop that bounced back into play and Robertson was able to get the second attempt by Jordan while she was still on the turf. “I feel like we left every ounce of energy out on the field tonight,” said sophomore defender Isabel Taylor. “We fought like we wanted it and played as a team. I’m proud of how hard we fought tonight.” Jordan was phenomenal in goal, stopping everything that came her way after the goal. Tates Creek fired at the keeper and were blocked every time. In the first half, the Lady Jackets struggled to get the ball past midfield and at times it seemed like Tates Creek had more players on the field. Wherever the Jackets sent the ball, there were two or three defenders waiting for it. Late in the first half, the Lady Commodores were in position to score and there was a collision in front of the net. Jordan threw herself in harm’s way to make the tough save and keep the score at 1-0 going into the half. “From our first game to our last, we tried to take a little something from each game and apply it to the next game,” said sophomore forward Mackenzie Tucker. “I think tonight that showed on the field that we have learned so much and we battled a really tough team right to the end.” I n the second half, the game picked up in intensity and both coaches were playing a classic chess match. Neither team had a clear advantage in the second half, as both teams struggled to find an open shot. The Lady Jackets put up a terrific fight but could not get the equalizing goal and the Commodores won the game 1-0. “This season has been hard and tonight we gave it all of our hearts and energy and there was nothing I would change about how we played tonight,” said sophomore midfielder Carter Hays. “We did our very best and we played as a team and that was our biggest goal, so I am proud of us even if we didn’t win. “ “Man, I was really proud of them tonight,” said Coach Brad Turpin. “We’ve been talking about leaving it all on the field and we talk about playing all 80 minutes and they did that. It was a terrific game to watch play out and, unfortunately, the one goal was the difference. I look back at the growth from the beginning of the season to where we finished tonight, and all I can say is how proud I am of all of them.” Franklin County On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Lady Jackets were defeated by Franklin County in the 41st district finals 4-3 on penalty kicks. The game took place at Capitol View Park in Frankfort. In the first half, the Jackets struck first when Lauren Rankin scored off a Raegan Gilbert header in front of the net. After the ball bounced around a few times, Rankin snuck it by the keeper to make the score 1-0 in favor of Woodford County. Neither team had a clear advantage in controlling the ball and the chances were happening for both teams. In the second half, the game took its first turn when senior goal keeper Sydney Beavers was injured making a diving stop. A few minutes later, the Lady Flyers applied pressure and tied the game on a laser by Madeline Clements. Tucker scored a brilliant goal moments later while being dragged the ground in the process of shooting. With five minutes to go in the game, Franklin County responded with a goal, catching the Jordan out of position. The game was tied at 2-2. The remainder of the regulation time was back and forth with no real chances for either side. The game went into a five-minute overtime and then a second overtime. Neither team created a chance for a score and the game went into penalty kicks to decide the winner. The first to kick was Shelbi Morrison and she was stopped by the keeper. Senior Makayla Devore, who has been a midfielder most of the season, was in goal for the Jackets. The Lady Flyers’ star player and tournament MVP Quinn May stepped in and scored. Carter Hays scored for the Jackets and Zaina Schewekah scored for the Flyers to make the score 2-1 in their favor. Devore stepped up to kick and scored for the Jackets and Olivia Hagg scored for the Flyers. Tucker stepped in to kick and was stopped by the keeper and the Jackets were down to their last chance. Devore could not stop the kick and the Lady Flyers won the game on penalty kicks. Tucker, Devore and Gilbert were named to the All-Tournament team in a ceremony following the penalty kicks. “I was proud of our energy out here today,” said Turpin. “We probably showed more energy today than we did all season, but we made a couple key mistakes that were the difference. I’m hoping this energy will carry us into regions this week and serve us well. Raegan was great today. I thought Isabel Taylor was tough today and Shelbi and Mackenzie played hard. I was proud of Makayla to step up and want to take charge and be the keeper at the end.” Frankfort High School The Lady Jackets advanced to the district 41 finals by cruising to a 7-0 victory against Frankfort High School on Wednesday, Oct. 11. After two days of heavy rain forced cancellations, the game was finally moved to Woodford County because the Sower Soccer Complex in Frankfort was flooded. The Jackets knew that to be successful, they would have to be the same aggressive team that attacked at every chance during the regular season. Woodford won the previous match-up 10-0 at home and were looking for some of the same magic. “We worked on fundamentals tonight,” said Assistant Coach Matt Cole. “We wanted to connect the passes and make good runs at the ball and that was something we really want to be sharp with. At this point we are fine tuning and we want to punctuate everything we have taught all season.” The first few minutes of the game were slow-paced and both teams were trying to figure out what the other was going to do next. In the 10th minute, the Jackets stepped on the gas and began firing at the net. Morrison sent a shot by a leaping Frankfort keeper to make the score 1-0. Taylor made a fantastic assist on the play leading to Morrison’s goal. Thirty seconds later, Tucker weaved through a set of Lady Panther defenders and scored an unassisted goal to make the score 2-0. In the 25th minute of the half, Devore shot a rocket past the keeper to score the third goal of the game for the Jackets with Gilbert making the assist on the scoring play. “I hope we set the tone for districts and what we need to do,” said junior defender Jasmine Collins. “We didn’t start the game like we wanted to but once we got into the flow of the game we did what we needed to do to take care of business. We’ve been successful at districts in recent years so we know we have to play to our best level to keep the success going.” In the second half, the Jackets appeared more in sync and had numerous attempts on goal that sailed over the net or were stopped by the keeper. Woodford kept the pressure up and broke through for a goal in the 56th minute when Devore found the back of the net again on a Tucker assist. “I think we may have been a little flat at the beginning, but if we can play our games like we finished this one, then we should be in great shape. It’s great to watch how this team can turn it on and score as fast as we did tonight," said freshman defender Meghan Denton. Four minutes later, Morrison scored unassisted to make the score 5-0. Morrison beat a pair of defenders to get the shot off and sailed it by the keeper. The duo of Morrison and Tucker have been a fantastic one-two punch for the Jackets all season. “It took us a while to get going tonight and hopefully we can be more aware of this next time out, “said junior defender Savannah Karbach. “It was a weird night out here. They honestly out worked us in many ways and I am hopeful we won’t let that happen again. It’s nice to win tonight but we have to be ready for the next one.” In the 76th minute, Tucker took the ball 30 yards, weaving through defenders to score the sixth goal of the game for the Lady Jackets. Tucker went left with the ball, then went back to the right before finishing the drive on the left side. Tucker scored one more goal with roughly 90 seconds to go in the game to bring the score to 7-0. “Tonight, we went a little deeper into the bench,” said Cole. “That allows us some looks to see what we can use as the rest of the games come. When it’s all on the line, you must know how your players will perform.” There were a few times tonight we hit everything but the net, we hit the post, the goalie and maybe there was just a lid on the net tonight.” The Lady Jackets defense was suffocating. The Lady Panthers did not attempt a single shot on senior keepers Jordan and Beavers. “The moment is so much bigger for these games and it’s really exciting for me, said freshman midfielder Abigail Wooten. This is my first district tournament and I am having a great time.”

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