It wasn't a “friendly,” to borrow the soccer term for exhibition game, but the Scott County girls' home district battle Wednesday night had all the earmarks of a practice.
Not in any danger of losing, or even being seriously tested, the Lady Cards mostly competed against their own standard in an 8-2 triumph.
“They hadn't scored a goal this season, so it's not really good that we let in two,” said SC's Olivia Burgess, who matched Bryan Station as the Lady Cards' lone repeat goal scorer. “This is more of a practice game to figure out what works for us, what helps us score goals against better teams like Henry Clay.”
Scott County (4-4-1, 1-0) scored 10 in a shutout of Bryan Station (0-6, 0-1) a year ago, but putting the ball in the back of the net has been a bugaboo for about four seasons now.
Monday's shutout loss, coupled with nagging injuries that have rattled the roster, didn't help with that flagging confidence.
You wouldn't have known it from all the names in the scoring column on this night, however. Mariana Casey, Daelyn Morrison, Haley Addington, Meagan Wilkinson, Shelby Chinn and Jordan Hill all joined Burgess on the board.
Eliza Keeth added three assists, Wilkinson two, and Casey, Morrison and Sierra Simpson one each.
“I had no idea what to expect in terms of offensive prowess,” SC coach Scott McKelway said. “We haven't really had it thus far this season. Collins, too, was an easier match-up, and we weren't able to get up into the high numbers.”
Four goals in that road win last Saturday served as Scott County's high-water mark until now. The Lady Cards have been held to one or fewer goals on five occasions.
Hannah Hunstad had Bryan Station's first two goals of the season, supplying a surprise 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the contest.
Burgess tied it with 24 minutes remaining in the half, and Scott County dominated until the horn.
Chinn cleaned up a loose ball at the far post to put the Lady Cards in front. Hill cashed in from Casey to make it a 3-1 halftime advantage.
“It's been harder for us, but I can already see us progressing as the games go on,” Burgess said. “This was helpful in a real-life scenario, where they're another team defending us, and they're still a team we want to beat. Against other teams I can already see us getting better and having more offense instead of getting smacked all the time.”
Casey cashed in Keeth's service early in the second half. Hunstad's encore cut the margin back to two before the floodgates opened.
Scott County will play only one game in a 14-day span, Wednesday, Sept. 4 at home against Lafayette.
“I feel like we are in a good place,” she said. “When we have our high intensity, when we have most our players ready, we have really good opportunities to score and beat better teams. It has been crazy. It's been game after game after game, but I do see us improving and getting a lot better.”
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.