Lady Cougars defeat Breck in opening round of the 11th District Tournament

Ellie Evans’ goal with less then 10 minutes to play in regulation gave the Lady Cougar soccer team a 3-2 victory over Breckinridge County in the opening round of the girls 11th District Soccer Tournament, which was played at Breck.

The Lady Cougars had to overcome deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to record the win. Breck took an early 1-0 lead just five minutes into the first half when junior Sydney Tucker got behind the Lady Cougar defense and chipped a high, arching shot over the head of Lady Cougar goal keeper Alyssa Morgan and into the back of the net.

The Lady Cougars missed a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 17th minute when Gillian Johnston took a corner kick and sent it to Malorie Zurhmely near the left upright. Zurhmely’s shot went just wide, though, leaving the score at 1-0.

But in the 25th minute of play, the Lady Cougars were awarded a free kick about 35 yards out from the Breck goal. Johnston set up to take the kick and put it in the net to tie the score at 1-1. Breck goalie Shelbey Walz got a hand on the ball, but was unable to keep it out. The half ended with the two teams tied 1-1.

Breck took a 2-1 lead in the 57th minute on a mix-up in front of the Lady Cougar net. Tucker won a ball out in front of the Lady Cougar goal and took it toward the net. Morgan came out to try and clear the ball, but allowed it to get behind her and Tucker shot it in to give her team the lead.

Less than 30 seconds later, the Lady Cougars tied it once more. Evans put a ball ahead from well inside her own end and Johnston ran onto the pass just inside the halfway line. With a defender dogging her all the way, Johnston raced toward the Breck goal and about 15 yards out, put a shot past Walz on her right side and the game was tied, 2-2.

The Lady Cougars had a chance in the 66th minute when Evans put a crossing pass to Kelsey Sneed, who had an open net in front of her, but whiffed on the bouncing pass.

Then, in the 70th minute of play, Evans won a ball near the halfway line and took it straight up the middle behind the Breck defense, shooting a low liner from about 25 yards that eluded Walz to make it 3-2.

Breck then began to apply heavy pressure on Morgan. Tucker was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area in the 72nd minute, but Morgan stopped her shot.

With less than two minutes to play, Tucker put a shot on goal that clanged off the left upright and was cleared away.

That was Breck’s last gasp as the Lady Cougars held on for the win.

Grayson County will play in the championship game tonight at 8 p.m. against Meade County, 10-0 winners over Butler County in the first game.

By Don Brown, Local Sports
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