After starting the season 10-0, the Lady Cougar soccer team has hit a low spot.
After falling Monday to visiting McLean County by a score of 3-1, the Lady Cougars have gone 1-2-1 in their last four games. And that single win came as a forfeit when Butler County could not field a team for a scheduled game.
In their first 10 games, the Lady Cougars were playing with fire and aggressiveness. Over the past few games, they have been tentative at best, and are getting outhustled from the start of games.
These two teams met for the first time last week in Calhoun and a late McLean County goal salvaged a 2-2 tie. In this one at Cougar Field, the visitors scored three times in the first half, then held off the Lady Cougars in the second half to pick up the win.
In the opening contest, the JV squads battled to a scoreless tie.
McLean County was applying pressure in the Grayson County end from the start, and in the eighth minute of play made good on it. With Lesley Howell sending a corner kick in front of the Grayson County goal, Kayla Ellis controlled it and sent it past Lady Cougar keeper Emily Strader to make it 1-0.
Grayson County had several opportunities over the next several minutes, but could not get anything to click. In the 18th and 21st minutes, Morgan Uebelacker had chances in front of the McLean goal but could not get a shot home.
In the 24th minute, McLean’s Morgan Scott put a hard shot on goal which Strader stopped. The rebound went right to another McLean player, but her shot at an empty net went just wide.
The McLean pressure paid off again in the 26th minute. With the ball deep in the Grayson end, Scott connected with Emily Burden in front and Burden put it in to make it 2-0.
McLean got on the board again with less than three minutes left in the first half. Mclean was awarded a free kick following a foul, and Howell took the kick from about 50 yards out from the Grayson goal. Scott won the ball, dribbled across the goal mouth, and sent a low shot that got behind Strader to make it 3-0.
Uebelacker had an excellent opportunity with less than a minute left in the first half. She took a through-ball in all alone on McLean keeper Jessica Humphrey. But Uebelacker put an extra touch on the ball trying to set up the shot, and it carried too deep for her to get the shot off.
McLean missed a golden opportunity to score in the 43rd minute when a shot at an open goal was booted away by a Lady Cougar defender. In the 51st minute, McLean’s Hannah Wilson had another shot at an open Grayson Goal, but whiffed on her shot attempt.
The Lady Cougars finally got on the board in the 55th minute. Uebelacker was fouled hard about 20 yards out from the McLean goal, and the Lady Cougars were awarded a direct free kick. Kendra Goodman took the kick and sent a high, curving shot on goal which just eluded the leaping Humphrey for a goal.
The Lady Cougars were desperately trying to get the ball into the net in the closing minutes, but the McLean defense was up to the task and kept them out the rest of the way to earn the win.
The JV contest was shortened to just two 20-minute halves after McLean showed up a half-hour late for the game. While McLean controlled most of the action, neither team could get the ball into the net.
Grayson County did not get a single shot on goal, while McLean managed just three. Most of the action was contained in the midfield area.
The young Lady Cougar JV team is now 8-1-3 for the season.