Against one of the top teams in the state, the Henry County Lady Cats held their own for a few minutes Monday night.
But the well-oiled, experienced Oldham County Lady Colonels hit their first goal 5:30 into the game, and the onslaught continued for the next 10 minutes as Oldham sliced the Henry defense apart with solid passing and pinpoint shots.
With 24:00 to go, the Lady Cats found themselves down 4-0. The Lady Cats defense stiffened some but Oldham added two more goals before halftime to take a 6-0 lead. Good goalkeeping from Sophie Hughes kept the Lady Colonels from adding to their lead.
Oldham added two more goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half and were headed for an early trip back to Buckner as they approached the 10-goal mercy rule. But the Lady Cats got a foothold in the game, and after Oldham scored with 25:00 remaining on the clock Henry County held out until the 9:02 mark when Oldham hit from close range to end the game.
“Their program has been in place for 24 years,” Coach Brandie Stivers said. “They are one of the top programs in the state. Their program is what we want to make our program like. We need to keep working and believe in ourselves.
“They are more experienced. They have only one freshman on their varsity roster. We have mostly freshman. They spread the field better than anybody we’ve played.”
HCHS 0 Collins 8
The Lady Cats hosted another top program in Collins on Sept. 5. The Lady Titans stand at 9-1 on the season.
Henry County got off to a slow start as Collins put two goals in the back of the net in the first three minutes of play. Collins added another goal at 20:54 to make it 3-0.
The onslaught continued in the first half as Collins got three more goals in the last 15 minutes of the half to up 6-0.
In the second half the Wildcats defense played better and were able to get more control of the ball. It took Collins 16 minutes to add their seventh goal and then their final goal with 1:00 remaining.
“We were slow finding our rhythm for this team of very experienced players,” Stivers said. “We were caught flat in the first half of the game and it showed in the first three minutes of play. Sophie Hughes as goalie made several great plays to help contain Collins.”
Stivers was pleased with how her team competed in the second half. “We were able to hold them to only two goals in the second half. Justice Kirk did a good job in the second half of containing a Collins player who made several shots in the first half.”
The coach went on to praise junior Kourtney Current, who is leaving the team because she is moving away from Henry County. “We will be losing Kourtney and she will be missed on the field, as well as her dedication to the team. We would like to wish her luck on her future endeavors and for her to know that there will always be a place for her on the Lady Cats’ team.”
HCHS 0 Walton 2
In a much closer game, the Cats travelled to Walton-Verona on Sept. 4, but fell 2-0.
Stivers said that it was the team’s first experience with a turf and sand playing surface that was much faster than the Cats were used to, but the team handled it well.
“The team performed well. I feel that the girls held their own. The defense did a great job holding their ground. Walton was able to slip in a couple of goals, but we were in control a majority of the game.
“Sophie Hughes was in place and almost able to slip in a couple of goals, but both slipped slightly outside the goal posts. We still need to work on working together as a team and supporting one another on the field. Communication seems to be an ongoing issue on the field.”