Cards pull away in rain-soaked contest

Published 10:52 am Monday, October 3, 2016

MOUNT STERLING — Rain poured throughout the first half of the George Rogers Clark High School girls soccer team’s 5-0 win over Montgomery County Wednesday.

Maybe that’s why it took the Cardinals a while to get going. They pressured the Montgomery County goal throughout the first 40 minutes, but managed to score just once before halftime — Shannon Ramey’s score five minutes in.

“We discussed at halftime that we were going to take shots,” GRC coach Matthew Abner said. “We talk a lot about character and being unselfish, but I think sometimes we’re too worried about being selfish and we don’t take shots when we had opportunities.”

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So the Cardinals started taking shots in the second half.

But first, they had to fend off a game Montgomery County team, which seemed bolstered by the tight score through the first 15 minutes of the second half.

The Cardinals refused to wilt under the Indians’ pressure, continuing to hold on to a six-game shutout streak.

“The girls are really working hard to not let other teams score,” Abner said. “Their next goal is to possess and create opportunities to score. We preach that every day. Get opportunities, take advantage and don’t look back.”

When the Cardinals broke though again, this time on a goal from Haley Hannan, the momentum shifted completely. GRC added three more goals over the next 18 minutes.

“They (Indians) may have gotten tired and didn’t step to us as well so we took advantage,” Abener said.

The cooler weather and heavy rain took a bit for the Cardinals to get used to.

“I didn’t think we adjusted to the rain very well,” Abner said.

But it gives GRC a taste of how things will be as they get deeper into the season.

“Everything goes from being hot to being rainy and cold,” Abner said. “It wasn’t our best played game, but under the conditions is as good as we can expect.

“I think I heard one of the players say as they came of the field, ‘This is probably one of my worst games,’” Abner said. “I said, ‘You didn’t let any goals in. If that’s our worst, then we’re going to be OK.’”

The Cardinals can now banked on the top seed in the district tournament in two weeks.

“Playing the No. 4 is a big difference than playing a 2 or 3,” Abner said. “Which is important for us because we can work on getting the No. 1 seed in the region.”

Delaney Manning and Carson Kovalic scored goals in the second half. Hannan scored a second goal in the final 10 minutes. Avrey Skillern assisted Kovalic’s goal.

Brennan Woosley started in goal had two saves. Laure Martin finished the second half and had one save.