Lady Leopards Set School Win Record with 4-1 Victory at Minerva
Louisville 4, Minerva 1
Rachel Baughman and Lizzy Mont scored 2 goals each as the Louisville Lady Leopards defeated the host Minerva Lions 4-1 at Polly Mueller Stadium Wednesday evening. The win sets the Louisville girls soccer record for wins in a season as the Lady Leps move to 11-2 overall and 5-0 in NBC play.
In the first half, the Lady Leopards hammered home shot after shot, but Minerva’s goalie had none of it. Finally, at the 9:13 mark of the first half the dam broke open. Sami Keefe intercepted a pass on the defensive end and pushed the ball over to Tara Stevens. Beautiful passing by Stevens and Devin Kring setup Baughman with space to run. She beat her defender around the left side and juked another defender in the penalty area before firing a shot left to right at the center of the goal. The Minerva goalie went to block the rocket, but it deflected off of her and into the net to give Louisville their first goal of the contest. The Lady Leps would take the 1-0 lead into the half.
Louisville wasted no time in scoring the goals needed for their fifth NBC victory. Dribbling down the left side of the field Kring centered the ball over to Kayla Shankel. Shankel then crossed a pass over to the right side of the field and Baughman took control of it right away. She slipped to the left to blow by a defender and then tapped the ball back to the right past the charging goalie and into the net. It was 2-0 Leopards just three minutes into the second half.
The Leopards third goal came after Stevens defense forced Minerva to pass the ball to the intercepting Leopard Jessica Hamsher. She then pushed the ball forward to Mont at midfield. Mont and Baughman followed that up with a give-and-go play that sprung the speedy Mont free. She beat her defender and then shot the ball into the top right corner of the net for the score.
Minerva would gain a goal of their own with 17:43 remaining in the contest, but Mont would answer again with the dagger six minutes later. Minerva booted a free kick from the edge of their penalty box and Sami Keefe sent it right back to the same area. On the send back, Mont stole the ball away from the Minerva defender who had fallen down. Then Mont dribbled towards the goal and had only the goalie to beat. She did and again the ball crossed the goal line in the top right corner of the net to make it 4-1 Lady Leopards.
Other than the one blemish, the Leopards defense shut down any Minerva scoring opportunity. Any scoring chance that ended up in Kelly Miller’s corner died as she did a great job of keeping the ball out of danger with not only great defense, but great passing. Along the same sideline, Cindy Skolosh had several great defensive plays and Becca Springman made big plays in the net. The for-mentioned Hamsher, Stevens, Keefe, and a host of others also put the clamps down on Minerva. Perhaps the biggest individual defensive play came when Stevens stopped and dribbled away a Minerva scoring opportunity in the goal box late in the second half.
After the clock hit 0:00, a four-man tunnel greeted the girls after the game. They excitedly ran through it knowing that they now need just one NBC victory to lock up the first ever Soccer Title in Louisville High School history. One last glimpse at the scoreboard as the rain started to come down said it all: HOME 1, GUEST 4.
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UP NEXT: The Lady Leopards will next host the Massillon Washington Tigers on Monday, October 1 at 7:00 PM at Louisville Leopards Stadium.
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