By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
NORTH LAUREL — Corbin head coach Eric Steely came into Tuesday’s 49th District Tournament game against North Laurel (6-9-2) expecting a physical contest and a nip and tuck game between the two teams.
One of those expectations came to pass as the Lady Redhounds (10-9-1) pulled away in the second half to earn a 7-0 victory in what was a physical battle for much of the game.
“We’ve been inconsistent all year long, so to be able to keep our momentum after getting the lead was a huge factor tonight,” Steely said. “There was a spell in the first half where North Laurel really pressured us, but we got it back and scored a goal, which gave us some confidence.
“I’m definitely surprised by the discrepancy on the scoreboard because we always seem to play each other very close,” Steely said. “We were able to score early and take a lead into halftime and then we did a good job of keeping our momentum rolling in the second half.
The win means Steely’s squad will move on to face South Laurel the district finals tonight and, win or lose against the Lady Cardinals, secured a spot in next week’s region tournament.
As for North Laurel, the loss ends a season where things didn’t exactly go as head coach Becky Woodworth would have liked, but she said she was extremely proud of the way her team played in the loss.
“I told our coaches about 10 minutes in to the second half that we had just exhausted ourselves in the first half,” Woodworth said. “We came out in the first half and played with a lot of heart and a lot of adrenaline, so I could see it happening towards the end of the first half, but I was hoping that halftime would be enough to get our energy back.
“When they scored their third goal, I don’t want to say it was over, but it really was,” she added. “I tried to stack our girls to slow them down, but it didn’t work out. Our girls played with all their heart though and Corbin was just faster, stronger and better in the end.”
Corbin got the scoring started in the 10th minute of play when Maddy Thompson scored off an assist from Morgan Boggs to give the Lady Redhounds a lead that was never in jeopardy.
Boggs added the first of a pair of goals in the 35th minute to stretch Corbin’s lead to 2-0, where it stood until the midway point of the second half.
Kaitlyn Waddle got in on the action with the first of her two goals in the 59th minute to stretch Corbin’s lead to 3-0. Two minutes later, a penalty kick by Hannah Henagar after a handball in the box put Corbin on top, 4-0.
Waddle, Boggs and Sydney Hurst added goals late in the contest to account for the final score.
Corbin will face South Laurel today at 5:30 p.m. for the 49th District Championship.