After a nine-day break from the soccer pitch, the Lady Cats took to the field again, this time with an improved defense.
Henry County traveled to Louisville last week to take on Pleasure Ridge Park. The Lady Cats’ defense improved in this game but they could not find their shooting shoes as they fell 3-0.
The Lady Panthers first struck with about 15 minutes gone when a shot just got by Lady Cat goalkeeper Sophie Hughes. Hughes managed to get a hand to the ball but it only slowed it down as the ball rolled into the goal.
The second goal came 25 minutes into the half on a PRP shot that did not give Hughes a chance. “There was no one to block the attempt,” Lady Cat coach Brandie Stivers said. “The girl was wide open and it was just a good solid shot.”
The Lady Cats’ defense stiffened after the second goal and PRP did not find the net again until about 15 minutes remained in the game.
The goal came when a PRP shot ricocheted off the crossbar, came down and bounced up and hit the cross bar again. “We didn’t think it was a goal but in the opinion of the referee, it was indeed a goal,” Stivers said.
Stivers is concerned with offense as she feels the defense did a good job in this game. “The girls played a good solid game of soccer,” Stivers said. “I know that if we can just get some plays going for our offense, we would be able to beat a lot of the teams we play. We made several shot attempts that were very close to going in, but just missed. I am looking at working on our offense going forward. Our defense seems to be very solid, so we need to work on getting some goals in these games. We do well getting up the field, we just need to work on the final step of getting the ball into the opponent’s goal”
It was the team’s first game since playing Oldham County on Sept. 10 and Stivers felt the break helped her team in some respects. “I do think we improved as far as injuries,” she said. “A lot of my injured players were able to recuperate and it showed in their playing. I had a few players not be able to make it to the game, so we were short-handed on substitutions throughout the game.
Stivers was pleased with the play of her central defenders. “Justice Kirk and Jessica Holcomb did well controlling the back half of the field,” she said. “Another player that we implemented into some new roles was Maddy Rucker. She performed very well in the new positions and attacked the ball continuously.”