After winning their first-ever 11th District Championship last week, the Lady Cougar soccer team was eliminated in the semi-final round of the 3rd Region Tournament, being held at Ohio County, by the Owensboro Lady Devils 7-0 Thursday night.
It was clearly a case of David versus Goliath, but for the first three-quarters of the first half, David was doing his best to thwart Goliath from running away with the contest.
“I thought the girls did a good job,” said head coach Rusty Ray after the game. “The score probably should have been something like 4-0, but a couple of mistakes led to goals and we gave them an own goal as well.”
The Lady Cougar defense held the potent Lady Devils scoreless for the first 26 minutes of the game, despite Owensboro controlling the action in the Grayson County end nearly the entire time.
But, inevitably, with the Lady Devils applying constant pressure on goalie Gabby Priddy and the Lady Cougar goal, in was just a matter of time until they broke through. In the 27th minute of play, Owensboro’s Maddie Kennedy sent a left-footed, crossing shot that beat Priddy into the right corner of the net to make it 1-0.
That seemed to deflate the Lady Cougars and the Lady Devils took advantage to score twice more before the end of the first half.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, Ownesboro was awarded a corner kick. The ball was sent into the Lady Cougar goal mouth, where it was pin-balled around several times before Madaline Brown got a foot to it and sent it into the net to make it 2-0.
With under a minute to play, Austyn Black rocketed a long crossing shot past a diving Priddy and into the left corner, and the Lady Devils took a 3-0 lead into the halftime intermission.
The Lady Cougar defense kept the Lady Devils at bay through the first 14 minutes of the second half, but in the 55th minute, Elizabeth Gordon’ cannon shot caromed off Priddy’s hands and into the net to make it 4-0.
In the 58th minute, the Lady Devils turned a corner kick into another goal when the ball glanced off a Lady Cougar defender and went in for an own-goal that made it 5-0.
Black scored once more, in the 67th minute, on a left-footed shot from about 10 yards out to make it 6-0.
In the 70th minute, Priddy stopped a point-blank blast, but it got to her face and she had to come out of the game, replaced in goal by Emily Strader.
With just over eight minutes left in the game, the Lady Devils had a direct kick about 30 yards out directly in front of the Cougar goal. The ball headed toward the goal mouth, where it was deflected back onto the field. The ball went directly to Brown, who put it back in for her second goal and the final score of the game.
Grayson County ends its season with a record of 12-7-2. Owensboro (14-8) will face Owensboro Catholic (18-3-2) in Saturday’s 3rd Region Final. The Lady Aces defeated McLean County 10-0 in the other semi-final match-up.