If you subtract the emotional component, the Scott County and Great Crossing girls' soccer teams getting both their scheduled battles out of the way nine days into the season wasn't a bad arrangement for either team.
SC took advantage of the chance to get well and snap a four-game dip without a win since the initial confrontation, completing a regular season sweep with a 3-1 road victory.
Two freshmen, Daelyn Morrison and Kelsie Hall, scored the goals that furnished the margin of victory after Eliza Keeth launched the Lady Cards (2-3-1) to a modest halftime lead.
“It's good that we were able to finish,” SC coach Scott McKelway said. “The problem is that there's tons of opportunities, and we should be able to put 50 percent of them in the back of the net.”
As for the Lady Warhawks (1-4), it was a solid bounce back in a measuring-stick game.
Compared to a pair of 10-1 losses at Lexington Christian and George Rogers Clark, the two skirmishes with Scott County have shown encouraging progress.
“We're just improving. We're trying to get better,” GC coach Stephen Brown said. “Now I can wish Scott County good luck with the rest of the season, because I have nothing against them from here on out. Most of those girls, they played for me at one point.”
Madisyn Dodge put away a pass from Hannah Washburn for Great Crossing's goal, tucked between Morrison's header and Hall's insurance tally.
This one followed a similar pattern to the first match, which Scott County put away, 3-0, with two goals in the final 20 minutes.
Great Crossing's defense, led by lone senior Kyrstin Tillman, did a better job staying in its lane and denying Scott County long runs and breakaways.
Keeth's goal was one of that variety, with Abby Herald's pressure from midfield taking advantage of a void in the coverage. Morrison and Hall earned theirs by redirecting well-placed service from the left wing.
“Madison Southern (a scoreless draw on Monday) was an issue with finishing, so I think we're back on the up path with that,” McKelway said. “A lot of these teams like to (crowd) the middle, so in terms of trying to slide in balls, get through balls, quick counter kind of stuff, it's good that we were able to get it out wide right now.”
The Warhawks were hoping to make life easier for sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Smith, who had another sensational night with 18 saves.
“We added speed to the back, and we tried to clog the middle,” Brown said. “We're doing that with everybody. We want the shots to come from distance. Shelby can handle those. We wanted no one-on-ones with the keeper, and I think we had two all game.”
Morrison became the first repeat goal scorer for Scott County this season. Seven different players have produced the Lady Cards' eight goals.
Great Crossing, which rallied for a 2-1 win in its only previous home game against Russell, used a clever connection between two of its few veteran players to whittle that gap almost immediately.
Emily Harbison and the SC defense and the midfield, led by Jordan Hill, Alex Flynt, Sierra Simpson and Megan Wilkinson, took care of the rest.
“Once again we were in the game until towards the end. We scored a legitimate, good goal,” Brown said.
“I felt like we had scoring opportunities, some that we messed up on, that we didn't take advantage of, but we're going to continue to get better. And we're getting in better shape, which is allowing us to then play better for longer.”
And despite the sweep, the Lady Cards are probably happy to be done with their crosstown rivals, too.
“Every time they come out and play Great Crossing, I don't know if we've got some crazy fans yelling and whatnot, former players,” McKelway said. “And then once some (physical play) starts happening, we're definitely going to pick it up.”
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.