The Henry County Lady Cats closed out their regular season schedule by hosting the Walton-Verona Lady Bearcats on October 7. The Lady Cats fought gamely against the Lady Bearcats but came out on the losing end of a 4-2 score.
The game started with Walton dominating possession but creating no real chances as the Henry County defense held their ground. The Lady Cats took advantage of their lone scoring chance of the first half when they hit Walton on a nice counterattack at the 13:24 mark.
The move started with winger Sarah Foree intercepting a pass and feeding the ball to Rachel Vegh in the middle of the field. Vegh passed the ball to Micah Lineman on the wing and then streaked toward the goal. Lineman fed a nice pass back to Vegh who got behind the defense in a one-on-one situation with goalie. Vegh slotted the ball into the corner of the goal to give Henry County a 1-0 lead.
Walton responded one minute later with their first goal on a corner kick. The corner was played toward the penalty spot where a Walton player hit a one-touch shot that gave Lady Cat goalie Sophie Hughes no chance for a save.
The Lady Cats went into the halftime break tied with Walton despite the Lady Bearcats having the vast majority of the possession.
“Walton was a technical team that did a good job of keeping possession and resetting the field when they needed to. We had to do a lot of chasing,” coach Brandi Stivers said. “In the second half we began to get fatigued from all the chasing and we made some mistakes that they took advantage of.”
Walton began to threaten early in the second half. At the 32:35 mark Walton got their first good attempt on goal but Hughes made a nice save to keep the score tied.
Walton finally broke through for their second goal at the 20:33. The ball came to aWalton player deep in the penalty box but the Cats defense retreated to cut off her shooting angle. The Walton player laid the ball back to a wide-open teammate at the top of the penalty box who hit a shot just under the crossbar and just out of the reach of Hughes.
Walton scored just three minutes later on a hard, high shot that bounced off Hughes fingertips as she stretched for the save.
With the minutes winding down and Henry County continuing to chase for a goal to get back in the game the Lady Bearcats added a goal with 4:17 left to make it 4-1.
But the Cats did get one final opportunity on a free kick from 20 yards out with 2:56 left. Vegh took advantage with a high hard shot that got through the keeper’s hands for her second goal of the game to make the final score 4-2.
Stivers attributed the second half lapse to fatigue. “We have a couple of players out and some of the girls who replaced them are not used to being on the field so much,” she said. “In addition we had to play some people in positions that they normally don’t have to play. We did a good job in the first half defensively of keeping them out of scoring positions but we eventually wore down. Savannah Adams did a good job moving to the middle of the defense and stopping a lot of moves.”
The Lady Cats scheduled game for October 8 against Whitefield Academy was cancelled due to poor field conditions at the Louisville school making the Cats next game the opening round of the district tournament at home against Carroll County Monday. Results of that game will appear in next week’s paper.