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Last Wednesday, the Marion County High School Lady Knights soccer team was hoping to ride the momentum of their first ever district championship win into the regional tournament.
Instead, the team lost to the Bardstown Lady Tigers, 11-1, in the first round of the regional tournament Oct. 17 at Central Hardin High School.
After drawing a first round bye, the Lady Knights played their first game in the semifinals of the tournament. Marion County junior Colleen Rakes sat out the game with a concussion.
“I challenged someone to step up and fill her shoes.” Marion County Coach Devin Johnson said.
The Lady Knights scored within the first minute. Noel Obata intercepted a pass and snuck the ball in past the goalkeeper to give Marion County the early 1-0 lead.
“With a couple of days off since our historic district championship, I hoped that we hadn’t lost our momentum and that the will to win was still there,” Johnson said. “With the early goal, I thought for sure we were there to play and have a chance to advance.”
However, Bardstown responded just as quickly and began to pile up the goals on the Lady Knights. The Lady Tigers scored in the fourth, seventh, 20th, 24th, 29th, and 36th minutes to take a 6-1 lead into the halftime break.
Bardstown kept up their scoring ways in the second half. After five more goals by the Lady Tigers the game ended by way of the mercy rule in the 78th minute. Coach Johnson called the game, “an abrupt halt to our postseason run.”
Ann Thomas Daugherty and Noel Obata were named to the all-region team for their performances in the tournament.
Coach Johnson said he would like to say a special thanks to his three seniors this year, Ann Thomas Daugherty, Sara Obata, and Madison Avritt.
“It’s definitely not the way I would like to have seen our season end,” Johnson said. “But looking back, it was definitely a season to be proud of. Not a single player should hang their head. We set a team goal at the beginning of our season to win a district championship, and we achieved that goal, making school history in the process.”
Johnson also had some words for supporters of the team and as the team looks forward. “I want to thank everyone who stuck with my team, and thank each of my players who were there through it all while we tried to turn this program around,” he said. “I hope they all remember the way this season ended and come out hungry next season ready to improve in every aspect of the game. With a solid group of players, and a lot of leadership returning I think we can achieve even more next year. I look forward to working with everyone this off-season off the field, in order to be a serious region contender next year.”