By Don Brown
Playing Breckinridge County last Tuesday evening at Cougar Field, the varsity girls’ soccer team played probably its worst game of the season, but still managed to stay undefeated as they edged the visiting Lady Tigers of Breckinridge County by a score of 3-2.
Breckinridge County, in just its second season and first at the varsity level, took the play away from the Lady Cougars, especially in the second half. Consistently beating the Lady Cougars to loose balls and displaying much better energy all day, the Lady Tigers overcame an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game at the start of the second half and put a scare into the Lady Cougars.
But the Lady Cougars got it together enough for Morgan Uebelacker to score the winning goal a little more than midway through the second half, then played tough defense the rest of the way to move to 8-0 for the season. The Lady Tigers fell to 2-5.
Grayson County had a couple of early chances that were fruitless. In the third minute of play, senior Kendra Goodman sent a ball past the Breck defense, then followed up to put a shot on goal, but Lady Tiger goal keeper Nicole Rogers stopped it.
Goodman was in on Rogers again in the eighth minute of play, but her chip shot at the net was deflected over the top of the goal.
But in the 10th minute, the Lady Cougars broke through. Coming down the middle, Uebelacker sent a pass ahead to teammate Bailey Reed on the right wing. Reed beat the defenders to the ball and sent a hard shot on goal that beat Rogers on her right side and the Lady Cougars led 1-0.
Three minutes later, Reed was on the board again to make it 2-0. Kenadie Minton sent a ball forward which Reed gathered in and her high shot went over Rogers’ outstretched arms for Reed’s second goal of the game.
The Lady Cougars had several more opportunities as time wore on. Uebelacker had a point-blank shot stopped by Rogers in the 17th minute, then was called for being offside as she took the ball in all alone in the 19th minute.
Reed put a beautiful through-ball onto Uebelacker in the 26th minute, but Rogers was up to the task again, turning Uebelacker away.
Then, in the 28th minute, things began to go the other way. Trying desperately to clear the ball in the Grayson County end, defender Elizabeth Priddy was whistled for a handball in the penalty area, and Breck was awarded a penalty kick. Junior Emily Roberts took the kick and beat Lady Cougar goalie Emily Strader and suddenly the score was 2-1 and the Lady Tigers were in the game.
The Lady Cougars had a few more chances in the closing minutes, but could not get that goal back. Reed was clearly offside on a rush alone to the net, but no call was made and her shot went wide of the net.
Goodman was in alone on Rogers in the 30th minute but was turned away. In the 38th minute, Goodman raced to get to a loose ball in front of the Breck goal, but she and Rogers got to the ball at the same time and Rogers was able to control it and both teams went into the halftime break with the score remaining at 2-1.
Breck controlled the action at the start of the second half, keeping it in the Lady Cougar end for much of the time. Seven minutes in, the Lady Tigers got even when senior Madison Trent sent a beautiful crossing pass from the right side to sophomore Sarah Predmore in front of the goal and Predmore put it in to tie things at 2-2.
The Lady Cougars seemed to wake up a bit after that and began playing better. In the 56th minute, Uebelacker fed Reed, who got in behind the defenders, but her whistling shot was right at Rogers, who corralled it for a save.
But the Lady Cougars worked a break-away in the 62nd minute for the tie-breaker. Coming out of the Breck end, sophomore Tara Dunaway put a ball ahead to a streaking Uebelacker, who beat three Breck defenders to the ball near mid-field, then outraced them to the goal and sent a liner past Rogers into the right corner of the goal to make it 3-2.
The Lady Tigers then began looking for the equalizer, but the Lady Cougar defense was up to it, turning them away time after time.
Grayson County just missed an opportunity to expand their lead in the 71st minute. Uebelacker hit Reed with a pass on the right wing and Reed took the ball in on Rogers all alone. But just as she was shooting, Redd slipped on the slick surface, muddy from recent rains, and the ball went harmlessly right to Rogers.
The Lady Tigers had a couple of opportunities in the final six minutes, but were turned away each time to preserve the win for the Lady Cougars.