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SOCCER: Lady Bearcats dominate Shelby, renew life in district race

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By John Herndon

Anderson County needed a win. That it was a blowout made things even better.

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The host Lady Bearcats routed 30th District rival Shelby County, 5-0, last Wednesday to get their first win of the season. Most importantly, the Lady Bearcats likely put themselves in position to avoid the fourth, or bottom, seed in the four-team district tournament next month.

“I was hoping we would (dominate),” Anderson coach Jason Earnest said. “We had been so close. We just had not found a way to get the ball in the net.”

The Lady Bearcats later tied Calloway County, 4-4, and lost a 4-0 decision to Daviess County in the Marshall County Classic, held on Saturday. Anderson was 1-4-2 after those contests.

Last Wednesday, however, the Lady Bearcats had little trouble finding the net, ripping Shelby early and getting things firmly under control by halftime.

The Lady Bearcats scored inside the first five minutes when Madeline Wilson scored the first of her two goals from 15 yards out. Tori Estrada joined the scoring parade 20 minutes later, gaining control in a crowd then drilling the ball home.

Wilson scored again, this time from 20 yards to make it 3-0 at the break.

“Madeline just had some beautiful shots,” Earnest said. “Their keeper had no chance at either one.”

It appeared that Shelby goalie Catie Wibbles was screened from Estrada's shot and had no chance to recover on that play either.

“Their keeper played well,” Earnest said. “She played better than the score would indicate because we made some shots she had no chance in stopping.”

But Anderson, which had been frustrated so many times through its first four games, was a confident group after Wilson connected early.

“It really helped that we were able to score early tonight,” Earnest said. “Madeline put a left-footed shot to the upper far corner of the net.

“It is nice to see a play develop and then it pays off. That is kind of what happened on the first goal. It is good for the girls' confidence.”

Niki Curtsinger drilled one home midway through the second half, then Claire Prater ended the scoring late as Anderson improved to 1-1 in district play.

“We played well,” Earnest said. “We have not been playing that bad in the other games. We just have not been able to score.”

Shelby rarely threatened against Anderson goalie's Billie Clark, the starter, and Hannwah Drury, who played the second half. “Both of them are freshmen,” Earnest said. “We are trying to get them some varsity playing time to build for the future.”

Anderson appeared to wear Shelby down as the game went on. Earnest made wholesale changes several times and by late in the first half, it was becoming apparent that Shelby's limited depth would play a role.

“We don't really have a lot of depth in the mid-field,” Earnest said, “but along the outside, we do. They played well tonight.”

Anderson was to have played Bardstown Bethlehem in the first round of the Little Caesar's Classic at Boyle County, Monday after press deadlines. The Lady Bearcats are scheduled to take the field again on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Boyle County in the tournament. Results, pairings and game times will be available for the tournament at www.theandersonnews.com.