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Providence stings Lady Cats

Providence stings Lady Cats
Providence stings Lady Cats
North Harrison senior Diana Burgher, left, kicks the ball away from Providence’s Kate Simmons in the second half of the Lady Cats’ 6-1 loss Saturday to the Lady Pioneers. Photo by Wade Bell
Wade Bell, Sports Writer

Due to the heat and humidity that settled in throughout the area the last couple of weeks, many sports teams have either shorten their outdoor hours or moved their practices inside. Heat indexes have been as high as between 105 and 110 and, because of that, getting the proper conditioning has been a problem.

That has been the problem with the North Harrison Lady Cats girls’ soccer team, and it showed Saturday morning in their season opener against visiting Providence. The Lady Pioneers stayed two steps ahead of the Lady Cats in every position and went home with a 6-1 win.

“Physically, with this past week, we haven’t been able to do any conditioning and stuff like that due to the heat index,” said North Harrison senior Ali Saunders. “(Athletic director Hal) Pearson was telling us we could be inside or call it quits for the day. So, I feel like if we had a little bit more conditioning under our belts, it would have helped. We were all gassed by the end of the second (half).”

Providence wasted no time getting on the board, and the Lady Pioneers’ Maci Hoskins, a junior, was in her own zone. Hoskins punched in her first goal less than three minutes into the game from the right side. Just over 16 minutes later, Hoskins scored again, this time on a penalty kick going left of North Harrison goal keeper Vicki Moorman.

Timeout was called for water at 18:58. Twenty-four seconds later Hoskins fired in her third goal of the half less than three minutes later from the right side, and Providence had a 3-0 lead with 18:34 left in the half. Moorman stayed busy stopping shot after shot by the Lady Pioneers. The Lady Cats finally got on the board with 4:43 left in the half when Meg Marinc fired in a shot off a corner kick by Saunders, the half ending in a 3-1 lead for the Lady Pioneers.

“Our offense is really young, so we have to work on accuracy and passes and touch,” said senior Diana Burgher. “We made it harder on ourselves. They made it easy.”

“We made it a lot easier for them,” Saunders said. “They had girls that can read the ball. It’s going to be a learning process. We’ve got a young group, but I think everybody is willing to put the work in to see the results so I’m pretty excited to move forward in the season.”

Providence quickly scored again early in the second half when Alli Wade fired in a shot at 37:30. Time was called at 30:02 when Saunders developed leg cramps in both legs. Less than 10 minutes after the break, the Lady Pioneers got their second goal of the half from Regan Hinton. Molly Richards got the final Providence goal of the game with just over 13 minutes to go for the final 6-1 win.

“I think it was a matter of just trying to figure out each other,” said Saunders. “This first game was non-conference. They’re not
in our sectional, so it’s a good opener just to get a feel for each other as a team, get that first game under your belly. Everyone is nervous at first, so it’s a good season opener.”

“I think it was just a great game to start our season off and knowing what we have to work on,” Burgher said. “I think in practice that’s going to turn over in what we do. Definitely more conditioning over the next few weeks.”

Time of possession went overwhelmingly to the Lady Pioneers. Providence got off 31 shots on goal connecting six times (19%) keeping North Harrison goal keeper Moorman busy for the entire 80 minutes.

“They’re a great team,” Saunders said. “They’re young but they’re still amazing. They work hard at it.”

On the other side of the coin, the Lady Cats managed just eight shots on goal for the 80 minutes with just the one lone goal. Both Saunders and Burgher expect the team to improve as the conditioning improves.

“We just need to be able to push through the second half and not quit,” Saunders said. “With five minutes left in the game, everybody was done. Obviously, the score wasn’t very positive, giving us energy, but if we would have had that extra boost of energy, we could have possibly got a couple of more goals and tightened it up a little bit closer. We’ve got a list of things to work on but it’s exciting so, hopefully, we’ll see the results by sectional time.”