WILLIAMSBURG — It took South Laurel a few minutes to adjust to the cooler temperatures and wet field conditions during their 49th District Girls Soccer Tournament first-round match against Oneida Baptist, but once the Lady Cardinals got into a groove, they were hard to stop.
Three goals by freshman Belle Dotson combined with goals from Katie Vance, Makayla Fields, Ashlyn Davis, Brooklyn Taylor and Lindsay Cox allowed South Laurel to pick up an 8-0 win while advancing to Tuesday’s semifinal matchup with No. 1 seed North Laurel.
The two teams played on Sept. 16 with the Lady Jaguars picking up a convincing 9-1 win over the Lady Cardinals.
“We played North last year three times and once so far this year. They are the team to beat in this area,” South Laurel coach Andy Johnson said. “We know them well and know the kids. It’s going to be a monumental challenge.
“It’s good to get the win tonight and it’s good to be able to get a game in on this field and play in these types of conditions,” he added. “So that’s a plus, and maybe we get somewhat of an advantage if there is any rain at all because they are a very good team. The key is for us to weather the storm.”
South Laurel (8-11-1) was able to weather the storm during Monday’s win by dominating the possession from the get-go.
After misfiring on several shots on goal during the game's first 27 minutes, the Lady Cardinals were able to get on the scoreboard early and often during the first half final 13 minutes.
Goals by Dotson, Fields and Davis gave the Lady Cardinals a 3-0 lead at halftime.
“We wanted to get to three goals at halftime and we did,” Johnson said. “It took a while to get used to the field, but we took a lot of shots early, but just wasn’t able to score. We finally started to pick things up and our ball movement was good.
“We wanted them to anticipate and make the early runs and they started doing that,” he added. “They started listening and getting people into different offenses. We were able to get shots off, but they have a good keeper.”
South Laurel was able to put the game away with five goals in the second half as Dotson added two more goals while Cox, Vance and Taylor each scored to wrap up the eight-goal win.
“We picked up steam in the second half,” Johnson said. “I thought we played good soccer.”
The Lady Cardinals’ matchup with North Laurel today is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.