Playing in their first ever 11th District Final Thursday night at Breckinridge County High School, the Lady Cougar soccer team was unable to recover after giving up three quick goals at the start and fell 5-3 to the Meade County Lady Waves.
Even after falling behind 3-0 just six minutes into the game, Grayson County refused to concede and battled back with a pair of Murgan Uebelacker goals to make it 3-2 at half time.
But the Lady Waves scored again early in the second half, then added an insurance goal in the 67th minute of play to assure themselves of the win.
Uebelacker added a third goal on a penalty kick at the 48-minute mark, but it just wasn’t enough to offset the early Meade County success.
The Lady Cougars came into the game brimming with energy and ready to take on the Lady Waves, but they were flattened less than two minutes into the game when Meade got a gift goal to go up 1-0.
Awarded a corner kick, Meade’s Haley Adcock set up to take the kick. She sent a low, skimming shot right at the left upright. Grayson County goal keeper Emily Strader was right there to get her hands on the ball, but it somehow skipped past her and rolled into the goal. Adcock later added a pair of assists and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Two minutes later, senior Jennifer Rethmeier won a loose ball in front of the Cougar goal and sent a crossing shot that eluded a diving Strader to make it 2-0.
The Grayson County situation got even worse just a couple of minutes later when they were whistled for a handball just outside the penalty area. Junior Morgan Shots set up to take the free kick for the Lady Waves. Grayson County was allowed to form a wall in front of Shots’ kick, but they weren’t aligned even close to the right spot and Shots was easily able to avoid the wall and beat Strader to make it 3-0.
The Lady Cougars probably could not be blamed if they folded their tents and went home at that point, but that’s not what they did.
In the 10th minute, Bailey Reed won a ball at mid-field and sent a pass ahead which got through the Waves’ defense and went right to a streaking Uebelacker. She took the ball in all alone and beat Meade goalie Shonte Williams, who had come out of the net to cut down the angle, to make it a 3-1 game and the Lady Cougars were energized once again.
The two teams then slugged it out in the midfield for the next 15 minutes or so. Strader had a fine stop of a hard Meade County shot in the 15th minute to keep the score where it was.
And in the 34th minute, the Lady Cougars connected again. This time Haley Brooks won a ball in the Cougar end of the field and sent a booming pass ahead, which found Uebelacker on the run toward the Meade goal. Putting just the right amount of touch ahead, Uebelaker beat Williams once more to make it 3-2. The score stayed that way through the half-time.
Eager to get back on the field and take the game to Meade, the Waves again scored to take some of the fire out of the Grayson County girls. Pressuring the Cougar goal, Adcock found Rethmeier and her quick shot beat Strader and suddenly it was 4-2 just five minutes into the second half.
Grayson County caught a huge break just three minutes later. Reed sent a crossing pass to Uebelacker just inside the penalty area, and when she was cut down by a Meade defender, Uebelacker was awarded a penalty kick. The junior center beat Williams with plenty to spare and it was a game again at 4-3.
But that would be all for the Lady Cougars. Adcock picked up her second assist in the 67th minute when she sent a pass from deep in the right corner, across the goal mouth, past Strader. Junior Micaela Ray was alone at the far post and sent the pass into the empty net to make it 5-3 and it was all over but the shouting.
Following the game, Uebelacker, Reed and senior Kendra Goodman were all named to the 11th District All-Tournament Team. Others named included, Rethmeier, Adcock, Ray and Lindsey Fackler, from Meade County, Sydney Wilson and Emily Hunt, from Butler County, and Madison Trent and Rachel Shannon, from Breckinridge County.
The Lady Cougars will advance to next week’s 3rd Region Championships, which will be held at Daviess County High School. They will face a District winner, as yet to be named, in the first round.