Lady Cats keep MSC soccer record clean
Wade Bell, Sports Writer
Last Wednesday night was a big one for the North Harrison girls’ soccer team. Not only did the Lady Cats honor 10 seniors, they went out as unbeaten in Mid-Southern Conference play for 2019.
The Lady Cats blanked visiting Scottsburg 6-0, earning an MSC sweep.
“We have a lot of confidence in our defensive play, a lot of strength in our defensive line,” said North Harrison co-coach Holly Smith. “They work a lot. They work very hard and they talk and they communicate. They’re basically a family back there. When they see something that goes wrong, they quickly talk to adjust it. I love that. They communicate on their own, and they do what they need to do.”
The Lady Cats moved the ball with confidence in the early going, and their defense kept the Warriorettes in a slow roll. With 29:30 left in the first half, Electra Knight drilled a short shot from inside the box for a 1-0 lead.
North Harrison continued to harass Scottsburg with its defense as the Warriorettes barely made it to midfield. Minutes later, North Harrison scored again, this time on a goal by Gabrielle Scott from the right side at 16:16. The Lady Cats got off eight more shots, then Lucy Robertson earned the shot of the night on a free kick from 30 yards out. Robertson buzzed the ball just over the hands of Scottsburg goalie Riley Pool for a 3-0 lead at halftime.
“We told them communication is key,” said co-coach Laura Rainbolt. “If you don’t talk, you don’t assess the situation and then correct it; you’re not going to get better. So, they need to talk and build each other up and work the problem together.”
Scottsburg switched keepers to begin the second half with Deanna King moving to the box. That didn’t slow down the Lady Cats, who fired three shots early on. With 20:24 left in the game, Scott finished her second goal of the night. A few minutes later, Arianna Black launched a shot over King for a 5-0 advantage. North Harrison’s last goal came at 8:36 left in the game as Scott drilled a goal on a free kick. Scottsburg failed to get a shot off through the remainder of the game.
“I think it’s the belief in each other, and the want, and the hard work, and everything just paying off for them,” said Rainbolt. “I couldn’t think of a more deserving group. I hope they keep their heads up and keep going.”
The biggest stat of the night was shots on goal. The Lady Cats got off 40 shots at goal to score six with Gabrielle Scott notching another hat trick. Scottsburg, meanwhile, got off just two goals for the entire 80-minute game. Besides the team’s defense, Rainbolt said ball control and passing were two big keys in keeping Scottsburg’s goalkeepers overwhelmed.
“That’s just another area we’ve worked on in fundamentals, moving with the ball, moving with each other, reading each other,” said Rainbolt. “It’s just part of the game, and it’s something they’ve worked on game to game to game. They’ve got that chemistry and were set for each other. We couldn’t be more prouder.”
Records and stats now get thrown out the window as the Lady Cats get ready for the sectional tournament ahead of them.
“What has been has been and everything, that’s the past,” said Rainbolt. “It’s new from here on out, so what’s happened in the past does not predict the future. Our girls will know that. If they want it from here on out, they’re going to have to fight for it. Every game is a new game. You cannot predict the fate, and that’s the beauty of it. That’s what we told them. You can’t predict what’s going to happen. You just need to get out there and play with your heart and play together and leave it all out there.”
Class 2A Scottsburg Sectional play began last night (Tuesday) when the Lady Cats’ took on Silver Creek. The winner advanced to the semi-final to be played tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.