Preparations for the 2019 season are off to a good start says Woodford County High School girls’ soccer Coach Sara Thornton. “I am proud of the girls for their work and attitudes up to this point. We are taking a lot of positives away from the Bluegrass State Games,” Thornton said. Things are still a work in progress of course, but Thornton says the plan is to use every game to guide the team’s improvement and training focuses. The Lady Yellow Jackets began the weekend on Friday evening with a 3-2 win over Ohio County at the Woodford Soccer Complex. They finished it with a 2-1 win over Rowan County on Sunday afternoon. Sandwiched between the two wins was a 5-0 Saturday defeat courtesy of Dixie Heights. Still, the blowout loss wasn’t a total loss. In fact, Thornton says the loss was ultimately good for her team. “Dixie Heights was a very fast, physical and technical team. It was very good for us to get a match like that in right now to help us prepare better for the regular season games,” Thornton explained. The Sunday win over Rowan County was a frustrating one for the coaching staff. In the first half alone, the Rowan County goalkeeper had over a dozen touches, most of them simple pickups on passes that were hit too hard. Plenty of chances fell by the wayside as countless Lady Jacket passes missed their mark. In some cases, the pass itself wasn’t off target only because it was never made in the first place. Too often, simple and productive passes were turned down in favor of more aggressive, less successful attempts. “The heat was a factor,” said Thornton, remarking on her team’s mental miscues before adding, “We have to finish and get the job done when we have opportunities.” In the second half, the scoring finally opened up five minutes into the half when Rowan County was called for a handball inside the Lady Viking 6-yard box. Yellow Jacket senior Emma Oberlander stepped up and calmly buried the penalty kick in the bottom right corner to put Woodford ahead 1-0. It took less than five minutes for the Lady Jackets to extend the lead on Mackenzie Tucker’s goal. It came off a counter-attack in the wake of an offside call. Rowan County would tighten the game with a late goal, but couldn’t find the equalizer in the waning minutes.
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