In a close, hard-fought game, the Lady Cougar soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss to Meade County in the championship game of the 11th District, played at Meade County on Thursday.
As the district runner-up, the Lady Cougars will play in next week’s 3rd Region Tournament at Ohio County, but they will be playing without their top goal scorer. Sophomore Kayden Sutherland was issued a red card in the 67th minute of play and had to leave the field. Meade County’s Alysa Burke also was handed a red card and the two teams played the rest of the way with just 10 on the field.
The red card hurt the Lady Cougars much more as Burke was a mid-field player, while Sutherland played the forward spot and and had scored 41 of her team’s 53 goals this season. It was Sutherland who scored in the 65th minute to cut the Meade County lead in half at 2-1.
The Lady Cougars were desperately trying to get the equalizer in the closing minutes when Sutherland got the ball on the left side and started up the field toward the Lady Wave’s goal. Burke was called for a foul when she grabbed Sutherland’s jersey, and the two got tangled up on the sideline.
Burke took a swing at Sutherland, an automatic cause for disqualification. Had Sutherland kept her cool and not retaliated the Lady Waves would have had to play the rest of the game a player short. But she did retaliate, and thus received the card. Both players will be ineligible for the opening game of the 3rd Region Tournament.
The first half stayed scoreless until there were less than two minutes remaining. The Lady Cougar defense was masterful, holding off intense pressure from the Lady Waves. But in the 38th minute Madison Reff got behind Grayson County’s defenders and took the ball in on goalie Gabby Priddy.
Priddy came out of her net to cut down the angle, but Reff was able to put it past for the goal that made it 1-0 at the half.
Meade County made it 2-0 less than two minutes into the second half. Awarded a corner kick, the ball went well past the goal, into the far corner. It was quickly recovered and shot back to the front of the Cougar goal, where Abby Nelson was waiting at the near post and put it in past Priddy.
The score stayed that way until the 65th minute, when Sutherland was attacking on the right wing. Closely checked as she brought it in on goal, Sutherland sent a low, hard shot at the goal as she slipped to the ground. Meade goalie Abbigail Sussman was in position to make the save at the right post, but she was unable to control the ball and it went past her and into the net.
Just two minutes later Sutherland was out of the game and the Lady Cougars were without their sharpest weapon. The Lady Waves were then able to run out the clock and keep the Lady Cougars frustrated.
Following the game, Sutherland and senior defender Amber Horn were named to the 11th District All-Tournament Team, along with Nelson, Reff, and Felicity Shirkey, from Meade County, and Breckinridge County goal keeper, Abbey McCellon.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.