By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
SOUTH LAUREL — South Laurel coach Todd White didn’t need to use a pre-game speech to pump up his Lady Cardinal soccer team.
His players never forgot last season’s 5-3 loss to Letcher Central in the 16th Region championship game and they used it as motivation going into Monday’s Sweet Sixteen first round game against the Lady Cougars.
It didn’t take long for White’s squad to assert themselves as the better team, as Karli Parker scored six goals to lead South Laurel to a convincing 11-1 win along with a berth into the Elite Eight.
“Our girls just stepped up to the challenge tonight,” White said. “Believe me, it was fresh on every one of our girls’ minds what happened in the 16th Region championship game and we wanted to erase that bad memory and we did that tonight.”
It didn’t take long for the Lady Cardinals to get on the scoreboard, as Kristen White gave her team a 1-0 edge just a minute in after Letcher Central’s keeper punched her corner kick in.
Mariah House got into the scoring column during the fifth minute after an assist by Hayley House, as the Lady Cardinals’ lead grew to 2-0.
Ten minutes later, Hayley House increased her team’s lead to 3-0 thanks to an assist by Parker and that’s when Parker took over.
She added goals during the 22nd and 32nd minutes to give South Laurel a commanding 5-0 lead, but the Lady Cougars cut their deficit to 5-1 during the 33rd minute, as Carlie Combs scored on a free kick from 25-yards out.
But just when it seemed that Letcher Central had stifled the Lady Cardinals’ momentum, Parker came up with two more goals during the 35th and 37th minutes while giving them a commanding 7-1 lead at halftime.
“After they scored their goal on a free kick, I told the ladies that this wasn’t going to happen again and they kept the gas on,” White said. “The first half we didn’t possess the way we wanted to do, but we did a better job in the second half.”
It didn’t take long for South Laurel to wrap-up the win in the second half, as Haley House scored on an assist by Kayla Cornett while Logan Joyce added a goal and Parker scored two more to end the game at the 57th minute.
“We just kept pushing,” White said. ”We just really kept possession and put the game away. We won all of the 50-50 balls and great things were happening. Things were just high-octane in the second half.”
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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