The Lady Cougar soccer team got two goals from Kayden Sutherland and another from Bailey Decker and made them stand up for a 3-1 victory over Breckinridge County in the opener of the 11th District Soccer Tournament, held at Meade County Tuesday afternoon.
This was the fourth time these two teams had met this season, with the Lady Cougars winning the first three in shutout fashion. The Lady Tigers finally broke through for their first goal against Grayson County with less than five minutes remaining to be played when Lindsey Roberts slipped a goal past Lady Cougar keeper Gabby Priddy.
The game might have been more one-sided in favor of the Lady Cougars if not for the goal keeping of Lady Tiger junior Abbey McCellon, who was later named to the 11th District All-Tournament Team. McCellon was outstanding in goal for Breck, making a number of stops on good Grayson County looks.
The Lady Tigers controlled the ball in the Grayson County end for the majority of the first 25 minutes of action before the Lady Cougars slowly began to gain the upper hand. The Lady Cougars missed a golden opportunity to score in the 30th minute when a crossing pass came to Keisha Dennis just outside the Breck goal. Dennis whiffed on her shot at an empty net to keep the game scoreless.
The Lady Tigers had a good chance in the 37th minute when a crossing pass toward the Grayson County goal was deflected by defender Natalie Hack. The ball glanced toward the Cougar goal, but Priddy was there to keep it out of the net.
Grayson County finally broke through to take a 1-0 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Decker was tripped as she crossed into the penalty area, and the Lady Cougar were awarded a penalty kick. Sutherland took the shot and put a ball on goal which McCellon got a hand on, but was unable to keep out. Grayson County led 1-0 at the half.
The Lady Cougars were applying steady pressure on the Breck goal at the start of the second half, but McCellon was able to keep them at bay. Sutherland put a hard shot on goal in the 66th minute, but McCellon made a one-handed stab to deflect the ball away.
But in the 69th minute, Sutherland outraced the Breck defense to a ball put through the middle and took it in on goal. McCellon came out to cut down the angle, but Sutherland was able to sneak the ball past to make it 2-0.
Just two minutes later, Decker brought the ball in on the right side and sent a high, looping shot on goal from about 25 yards out. McCellon reached high and got both hands on the ball, but could not control it and it bounced behind her and into the net to make it 3-0.
Roberts scored for Breck in the 75th, bringing the ball down the right side and letting fly with a shot from 20 yards out that eluded the grasp of Priddy.
The win sent the Cougars into the championship game on Thursday against the number-one seeded Meade County Lady Waves (see story this page).