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The Anderson County girls' soccer team got its pre-season off to a rousing start with four wins over Top 25 teams to take its second consecutive gold medal in the Bluegrass State Games held in Lexington.
“It was four very good games for us, as all four teams are top 25 teams, so this was very good competition that I was extremely pleased with,” said Anderson coach Jason Earnest.
On July 26, Anderson defeated North Oldham 2-1 in the championship, a rematch of the 2008 Bluegrass championship. The Lady Bearcats opened a 2-0 lead, but Earnest said, “We had to hang on for dear life.”
In the semifinals, also played on July 26, Anderson whipped Ft. Thomas Highlands, 2-0.
“We were on our game and controlled the game throughout,” Earnest said. “They were missing one of their most experienced and best players, who had to sit out due to accumulation of yellow cards. However, we had numerous occasions that were very close to putting the game away early. We scored two goals, first off a long outside shot of Hannah Pritchert and then off a break away from Madison Carter.”
A day earlier, the Lady Bearcats struggled, but tied Tates Creek and managed to get a 2-1 win over Bishop Brossart.
In the tourney opener, Anderson and Tates Creek both scored in the first half then battled to a 1-1 deadlock.
“They got a break away on us and scored against Emily Mager then a couple minutes later we scored off a free kick from about 35 yards, where Abby Prater served a ball into the middle of the box and Taylor Clark scored on a header,” Earnest said.
In the second game against Bishop Brossart, Anderson still struggled.
“We didn't look like our selves and we kept giving up breakaway after breakaway,” Earnest said. “We got very lucky not to be down four or five goals in the first half, as Emily Mager played the best game of her young high school career as she kept making huge saves and breakaway saves.”
After a scoreless first half, Brossart broke the ice early in the second period. But Anderson responded. “With about 15 minutes to go, it clicked for us or they ran out of gas, or both,” Earnest said. “We completely controlled the last 15 minutes and scored two goals to win 2-1. Madison Carter scored off a great play from Taylor Clark and then Taylor scored off a breakaway.”
Anderson will take on South Oldham in another pre-season scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Shelby County Shootout.
The Lady Bearcats open the season with a district match-up against Franklin County at home on Aug. 17.
E-mail John Herndon at email@example.com.