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GRC four-peats as 10th Region champions

After a 5-0 victory against Campbell County, the best defense remaining in the region, George Rogers Clark was set to take on Bishop Brossart for their fourth consecutive 10th Region title.

The Lady Cardinals came out of the gate hot, owning possession for the majority of the first 30 minutes of the match, but weren’t able to find the back of the net.

Their defenders and midfielders were able to keep the ball in the attacking third for their forwards, but the Lady ‘Stangs were packing their defense in the box to keep the Cards from scoring.

Clark County finally got on the scoreboard thanks to Julia Pohl finishing a shot that teammate Leslie Hernandez set her up for with six minutes to play in the half.

Hernandez was able to win the ball right back for GRC and put her first goal of the game in, putting the Lady Cards up 2-0 heading into the break.

Coming out of the break, the game got physical. Bishop Brossart had a player ejected from the game after picking up a red card, forcing them to play 10-on-11 with GRC for the remainder of the championship game.

Even a player-down, the Lady ‘Stangs were fighting for their season. They had good looks at goal, but the Cards’ defense that has only surrendered one goal through their first five postseason games held strong.

Goalkeeper Carrie Stevens kept the Cardinals’ two-goal cushion as she blocked three consecutive shots from point-blank range late in the second half.

With time winding down, the Cardinals put in a final, icing-on-the-cake goal as Delaney Manning scored her first goal of the game thanks to a Leslie Hernandez assist, pushing the lead to 3-0 where it would remain until time ran out.

The title was the fourth championship for seniors Manning and Caitlin Bowling as well as head coach Matthew Abner.

“It’s different, I don’t want to say one’s better than another,” Abner said. “It’s exciting when you see the smiles on the girls. When they’ve worked this hard and what they’ve put in to practice to earn another title it’s exciting.”

GRC is headed to the State Tournament and will host Lexington Catholic in the first round on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the soccer complex near Strode Station Elementary.

The two teams met in the regular season in Lexington where the Lady Cardinals fell 3-0, the most recent loss for the Lady Cardinals.

GRC is peaking at the right time after outscoring opponents 31-1 in the postseason.