By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
LEXINGTON — South Laurel keeper Charity Humfleet was tested early and often by top-ranked Notre Dame during Saturday’s Elite Eight contest and despite Humfleet turning in one of the best performances by a keeper in the state tournament, the Pandas managed to pull out a 4-0 win.
“I was really proud of Charity Humfleet tonight,” South Laurel coach Todd White said. “She played as good as any goalkeeper in this tournament. She has really grown and the future is very bright for her — she’s only a sophomore.”
The defending state champions possessed the ball for most of the game and didn’t allow South Laurel a shot on goal until the 14:54 mark of the second half, as goals by Ellie Eckerle and Katy Zembrodt gave Notre Dame a 2-0 edge at halftime.
The Pandas pulled away in the second half, as Katherine Koplyay and Hannah Vonhandorf scored to wrap-up the win for the Pandas.
“It was a tough match tonight and they were definitely a good team,” White said. “I think at first we were just nervous. We had a lot of nerves at the beginning, but you know once we settled in, we just didn’t do the things that we wanted to do. We saw signs of our possession show up in the second half, but it just disappeared.
“We knew the only way we could compete with this team is to try to possess the ball,” he added. “We know we’re not a fast team, so the only way to battle this team would be to out-possess them and tonight wasn’t our night. They were always two steps ahead when they received the ball. The bottom line is we were overmatched. If you look at our athletes compared to their athletes, they had more of them.”
The loss snapped South Laurel’s five-game win streak, as the Lady Cardinals finished the season with a 15-7-1 record.
“We’re just fortunate to be in the Elite Eight,” White said. “We’re just taking it in. We’re not sad or dropping our head. We just lost to the No. 1 team and the defending state champs.”
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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