By Matt Sparks For the Times-Tribune
FLATWOODS — It was a historic night at the Russell Soccer Complex.
Russell coach Joe Grizzle reached a milestone with his 200th win as the Lady Devils defeated South Laurel 3-0 in the Semi-State round of the Girls State Soccer Tournament on Tuesday night.
After the game, the jubilant coach was getting hugs from every direction by players and parents. To commemorate the event, a team picture was taken under the scoreboard showing the final score. Two minutes were put on the clock to symbolize Grizzle’s number of wins.
According to Grizzle, all the credit goes to his players.
“It can’t get any better than this,” the veteran coach said. “The girls have worked hard all year. I’m just so happy for them.”
Russell advances to the Elite Eight of the State Tournament and will play Notre Dame, champions of the 9th Region, at Lafayette High School in Lexington on Saturday.
Much of the first half was played to a stalemate with each team feeling the nerves playing on such a big stage.
“They (Russell) had some nerves,” Grizzle said. “If you’re not nervous for this game then maybe you shouldn’t be out there.”
Russell was first to seize the momentum on Cara Maher’s goal at the 30-minute mark.
The junior midfielder took control of the ball at the top of the box and weaved her way around several defenders before sending a shot on goal that proved to be too hot to handle for the keeper. The ball glanced off her hands and bounced into the net.
“It is always good to score first,” Grizzle said. “When you do that, the momentum gets pumping and it gets things going. After that goal, they came together and started playing our game.”
Russell (18-5-1) increased its lead three minutes later when Hollie Hencye outjumped a Lady Cardinal defender for a ball in front of the net. Hencye’s header found the top of the net to give the Lady Devils a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
“Hollie has been strong all year long,” Grizzle said of his talented sophomore. “We have been telling her all this week she needs to shoot the ball more and be more active in the offense and she showed up big today.”
Hencye scored another goal in second half and admitted her long soccer career prepared her for games like last night.
“I have been playing since I was 5 so I don’t feel too nervous,” Hencye said. “Once we got going tonight, we played really hard and nobody let down.
“Cara’s goal gave us the confidence to keep working and we felt we had a chance in this game,” she added.
Russell’s defense shut down the Lady Cardinals for the rest of the game, including stopping Karli Parker, the state’s leading goal scorer.
Parker came into the game with 54 goals and 10 assists but could not find any space to operate because of Russell’s team defense led by junior Shelby Huddleston.
“She is the best defender in the state,” Grizzle said. “Shelby played man to man on her. I couldn’t ask her to do any more than what she did tonight.”
South Laurel falls, 3-0, in opening round of state tournament
By Matt Sparks For the Times-Tribune
- Local Sports
The Tri-County Sports Authority youth football league, which usually fields in the neighborhood of 200 players, is about to get a little more crowded this season.
THE WAY IT IS: Football is in the air in the Tri-County
These cool summer days are reminding me of the cool football Friday nights of September and October, and with that said, these cooler temperatures have me in the mood of writing about things to come for our local football teams in the Tri-County.
It’s never too early to talk about what games will be the big ones for the Tri-County high school football fans to watch this upcoming season. I’ve tried to narrow my list down to 10 games, but honestly, it really wasn’t easy to do — but I did manage to do it.
Let’s just say things should be very entertaining, and interesting, for you the fan this season.
Corbin names Philpot head baseball coach
With just a little over two weeks passed since Rob Ledington announced his resignation as head coach of the Corbin Redhounds’ baseball team, Corbin School officials announced their choice his replacement.
So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking
By Les Dixon
NORTH LAUREL — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football team is coming off one of its best seasons in program history with hopes of continuing its winning ways this fall.
The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title
By Chris Parsons
WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets came one win away from bringing home the program’s first ever state championship last season, but a 42-0 loss to Mayfield meant a state title wasn’t in the cards.
Ready to Reload
Even though Knox Central head football coach Scottie Russell has seen the departure of two of the program’s best tailbacks due to graduation in the past two years, he isn’t concerned.
Shelton was a hero by any definition
The word hero is used a little too loosely for my taste these days.
To be honest, it’s been used way too much for a long time and I’m just as guilty as the next guy.
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