• By Thomas Mims, Sport Writer

Lady Yellow Jackets lose two straight, now 4-7-3 on the season

After a three-game unbeaten streak against two district opponents and Harrison County, the Woodford County High School girls’ soccer team finds itself on a three-game winless streak. The Lady Yellow Jackets played Scott County to a 0-0 draw Sept. 11 and have since lost two straight games. First came a 6-1 defeat at Tates Creek Wednesday, Sept. 18. The Lady Commodores ranked No. 6 coming into the match and with the only unbeaten record in the 11th Region while maintaining the region’s highest RPI value. It was a tough test for the Lady Yellow Jackets, who managed to keep the game scoreless through the first 14 minutes before conceding two goals in a 90 second span. Tates Creek would go on to score two more goals to open up a 4-0 lead at halftime. Woodford came out fighting to start the second half. Anna Beth Hawkins scored a goal a couple of minutes out of the halftime break, but that was all the stingy Lady Commodore defense would allow. Tuesday evening, the Lady Yellow Jackets traveled to Boyle County. It was the second meeting between the two schools this season after a heat-shortened 0-0 draw at the Fayette County Soccer Spectacular in mid-August. Tuesday’s match, played at a much more manageable temperature, was a physical contest with several minor controversies sprinkled throughout. The Lady Rebels came away with a 1-0 victory on a night filled with fouls, clock-stoppage issues and vocal dissent from players and coaches alike. The game was similar to several of the Lady Yellow Jackets’ close losses this season, in that Woodford controlled play early on. Several great scoring chances went by the wayside for the Lady Jackets, as they forced multiple corner kicks early on but couldn’t find the back of the net. After turning away one promising Woodford chance, Boyle County goalkeeper Alyssa Montgomery came up from the turf holding her head in obvious pain. The junior goalkeeper played through it and ultimately earned a shutout for her resiliency. In the 18th minute, Boyle County senior Amanda Cossentine scored what would be the night’s only goal. Caught in transition, the Lady Jackets shifted too far defensively to account for leading Boyle County scorer Alexus Phegley as she came down the left side. As Phegley neared the 18-yard box, Woodford’s secondary defenders were out of position by either being too close or too far away from Phegley and left a gap at the top of the box as a result. Cossentine filled the gap, Phelgey found her with a ball to her trailing teammate and Cossentine floated a shot to the top right corner of the net, out of goalkeeper Caylee Thompson’s reach. The goal shifted the flow of the game as Boyle County began to control the ball and pace more after taking the lead. Around the 28-minute mark, a shoulder to shoulder contact play was deemed a foul in Boyle County’s defensive third of the field to set up a Woodford free kick. The referee’s decision managed to draw the ire of both coaches as Woodford’s Sara Thornton and Boyle County coach Brian Deem each disagreed with the outcome. While Deem claimed there was no foul at all, Thornton and several Woodford players interpreted the official’s ruling as a penalty kick because the foul took place inside the box. Based on the official’s behavior and indications, it seemed a penalty kick had been awarded. However, the official spotted the ball just outside the box, instead granting Woodford an awkwardly angled free kick within 5 feet of the end line and just inches outside the box to the right of the goal. Emma Oberlander placed the cross perfectly to Anna Beth Hawkins, but Montgomery reacted quickly to save the shot and turn away the Lady Yellow Jackets. A few minutes later, the official again was antagonized by Woodford supporters, this time for a no-call on a potential shove in the back of Hawkins that thwarted the sophomore’s breakaway chance at goal. Physical play continued into the second half, at one point causing Thornton to shout, “Sir, are you trying to get her hurt? Blow your whistle!” after another Lady Yellow Jacket hit the turf. Things hit the boiling point with eight minutes to play. Trying to get around a Lady Rebel and get to the ball Hawkins was whistled for a foul, but not before taking an elbow to the face. Hawkins, frustrated, appealed to the referee to no avail. The Lady Rebels held on for the win after a few more close calls. Oberlander had a good look on a free kick from 22 yards away, but Montgomery turned away the challenge to keep the clean sheet. Woodford County plays just two more games in the regular season before district tournament play begins. Thursday evening the Lady Jackets travel to Spencer County. The winner will be the No. 2 seed and the loser will be the No. 3 seed in the 30th District tournament. Saturday night at 8:30 p.m., Woodford hosts a familiar foe in Western Hills.

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