It was a good first test.

That’s nearly always the mindset for any sports team following the first game of a season — and that was the case for the Central Hardin girls’ soccer team Monday evening.

Taking on visiting Bullitt East to kickoff their 2019 campaign, the Lady Bruins battled but ultimately fell short, 4-2, to their 6th Region opponent.

“We faced a decent team, but really we just need to attack faster, play a little more simple,” first-year coach Chris Wilk said. “A little bit selfish today. I just think we need to relax, slow down a little bit and form our attack better than we did.”

While Monday’s match opened a new year for the Central Hardin program, it also marked the debut of Wilk at the helm. Wilk replaced Chris Ernst as leader of the girls’ squad after serving as an assistant for the boys’ team.

Holding head coaching duties for the first time in his young career, Wilk said it wasn’t a bad first night for him in his new position.

“I think it went OK,” he said. “We did some good things, did some bad things. There’s a lot of things to fix, but that’s the first game — a test. I think we’ll be good.”

Bullitt East (1-0) scored two quick goals to put the Lady Bruins (0-1) in an early hole, but they responded with a goal from junior Haley Pickerell with 16:55 remaining in the opening half.

The Lady Chargers answered Pickerell’s score with a pair of goals in the span of seven minutes — highlighted by Chloe Holt’s shot just before the halftime horn — to give them a a 4-1 lead at the break.

Pickerell found the back of the net for the second time at the 29:44 mark of the second to make it 4-2, but that’s as close as the Lady Bruins would get.

“Haley was one of the ones we wanted to put more reliance on,” Wilk said. “She didn’t score a bunch last year — a lot of it was on Brooke (Norton) and Brittney (Music) — so we want to try and shift that away from them and kind of even out the playing field to score goals.”

Central Hardin will look to bounce back Tuesday in a 7 p.m. tilt at Bowling Green.

“We just want to perform well. Bowling Green’s a good team,” Wilk said. “We just want to keep the ball and kind of slow them down because they’re going to play quick and just attack on our terms.”

Tyler Mansfield can be reached at 270-505-1754 or tmansfield@thenewsenterprise.com.

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