Wednesday night’s draw on home turf, 1-1 against Lafayette, felt like a win in many ways to Scott County girls’ soccer.
SC (4-4-2) entered the game ranked No. 57 in the Maher rankings that serve up a weekly computer assessment of Kentucky soccer teams, 31 spots below Lafayette (5-2-1).
The Lady Cards also tied the Lady Generals in their annual meeting two years ago. They were seeking their first win in the series since 2015.
“Last year I think we were 4-4-1 at the same time, and then it kind of fell apart,” SC senior Haley Addington said. “This tie in this game, hopefully it gives us the confidence to get some wins under our belt.”
Addington scored her second goal of the season to give Scott County the early advantage, turning it over to senior goalkeeper Emily Harbison and the Lady Cards’ tireless defense for the final 60 minutes.
Harbison, who told the News-Graphic after the game that she has verbally committed to play at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, made many of her saves in bang-bang fashion, rising from one diving stop in time to smother the rebound.
“It’s kind of just quickness, getting up for that second shot,” Harbison said. “As a keeper you just kind of get that sense of where to go next.”
Ella Abraham delivered the equalizer for Lafayette with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. The Lady Generals hit the crossbar on multiple occasions in their ill-fated attempt to take the lead on both sides of intermission.
Led by Jordan Hill and Alex Flynt’s defense in the midfield, SC earned a few quality looks at the potential game-winner in the final minutes.
Two headers off set pieces by Reagan Oliver veered just wide of the cage. Abby Herald’s final offering missed the far post by about a foot with 30 seconds remaining.
“If we hold out long enough, we stay in the game and have finishes where we don’t lose against quality teams,” SC coach Scott McKelway told his team in the post-game huddle.
“Abby going in there and staying with it, if that shot by goes in, that’s a win. This is really good stuff.”
Addington’s blast eluded the leaping Lafayette keeper to earn SC its fifth win or tie in the past six contests.
“They had it in the corner, and they dropped it back. They left me open for a little while, so I took a shot,” Addington said, “Usually it goes over, but I got lucky this time.”
Harbison entered the game with 50 saves and three shutouts on the season. The defense in front of her continues to take shape after some mid-summer injuries forced shifts in the rotation.
“I just think we worked really well as a team, came together and played as a unit,” Harbison said. “Our chemistry was really great. We had our moments where we were frustrated with each other, but I think we overcame it, and I think if we continue to do this in the future, we’ll pull some wins.”
Rest and training have done wonders for Scott County, as well. The region rivalry marked the Lady Cards’ only game in a 14-day span. SC hosts Woodford County at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.