Central Hardin meets LaRue County at 6 p.m. Monday to open the 5th Region Girls’ Soccer Tournament at Central Hardin.
The nightcap has Bethlehem (14-8) playing Marion County (9-10-1) at 8 p.m.
The Lady Bruins blanked the Lady Hawks, 9-0 Sept. 23.
“It was not fun at all,” LaRue County coach P.J. Bauer said. “We chased the ball. They pretty much brought it back on us. They had great spacing, great passes and we pretty much chased them the whole game. We can’t chase them. We’ve got to cut those passing lanes off.”
LaRue County (12-7-1) has lost 14 players to graduation and an exchange student the past two seasons.
“Since we’ve lost so many girls over the last two seasons, just the fight they’ve shown and the improvement from Day 1 to the end,” Bauer said of what he’s most proud of his team this season.
“The goal every year is to win the district and try to do something in the region. We’ve done the first goal, now we’ve got to work on Central again.”
Bauer said he’s been impressed with his back line.
“Rachel (Cundiff) and Chloe (Sisneros) have stopped stabbing so much and they really just clean up all our mistakes,” Bauer said. “They’ve done a great job of winning the ball.”
The Lady Hawks are paced by senior Kylee Nunn’s 35 goals, which is a school record. Olivia Hazelwood has 18 goals and 12 assists, senior Kenzie Hornback 13 goals and seven assists and Kirsten Harper 10 goals and 12 assists.
Haylie Panter scored three times and Brittney Music and Taylor Eidson twice to lead Central Hardin in that victory.
“We just have to get back in the zone,” Lady Bruins first-year coach Chris Wilk said.
Central Hardin (13-7-3) is 5-2-3 in its last 10 outings. It dropped a 5-4 decision to rival Elizabethtown in the 17th District Tournament title game.
“They’re a little upset still. It stings,” Wilk said. “Sometimes that will light a fire.”
Lighting a fire in the Lady Bruins’ offense is Music.
The senior speedster has 26 goals and 18 assists, giving her a little more than one-third of the team’s points.
Senior Brooke Norton has 14 goals and 11 assists and Panter 11 goals and 17 assists.
“Honestly, we need to keep playing our style,” Wilk said. “Hopefully we can get the job done.”
The winner gets Bardstown at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The Lady Tigers (19-2) have not lost since Aug. 19. They beat rival Bethlehem, 3-2 in double overtime for the 19th District Tournament championship.
Bardstown is led by Emma Livingston’s 21 goals and 12 assists. Kadence Walls had 13 goals and 12 assists, Whitney Rogers 21 goals and seven assists and MaTija Yocum 12 goals and eight assists.
Elizabethtown (11-9-2) plays the Bethlehem/Marion County winner at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The Lady Panthers have not lost since Sept. 14, going 6-0-2.
“The last part of the season we’ve been behind in a ton of games and they’ve had some resolve to them and been able to keep their heads about them and stay in them and win them,” veteran coach Pat Black said. “We weren’t like that at the very beginning, so they’ve grown a lot and been able to face some adversity. I think that’s been a pretty good shining point for them.”
Elizabethtown lost its first four games, won three straight and lost four more in a row. It scored two goals in that second four-game skid.
The Lady Panthers have scored 57 goals in their last eight starts.
“Early we were in dissorts and we didn’t have people in the right places,” Black said. “I think we’re starting to get people in the right places now. That breeds a little bit of confidence in us. “We’ve been a goal down to Central the last two games and came back to win those. North came back and tied us right before half and then we stormed back, and I think we had a little bit of resolve to us.”
The Lady Panthers saw senior Gabby Garcia return to the lineup and it makes them a completely different team.
She scored three goals and dished an assist in the district title game.
Senior Ann Bell leads the crew with 21 goals and 10 assists. Anna Grace Carter has 16 goals and seven assists, Josie Kremzar 13 goals and 17 assists, Ella Durbin nine goals and eight assists and Garcia 10 goals and two assists.