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The dream season for the Spencer County Lady Bears ended in an abrupt wake-up early in the second half of Monday’s opening round game of the 8th Region Tournament, as they surrendered three goals in less than ten minutes. That was all the visiting Lady Dragons needed to secure the win and advance, as the Bears lost 3-1 to end their season with a 19-4-1 record, by far the best season in school history.
The Lady Bears got off to a quick start of their own in the first half when Madison Ratchford raced down the right side of the field, took a crisp shot at the goal, and had it bounce away, only to be chased down by teammate Libby Cox who put it right back in the net for a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. The Lady Bears had controlled the field in the early minutes.
After that goal however, the Lady Dragons kept pressure on the Spencer County defense, getting a number of shots on goal. Spencer County’s defense actually played well and kept South Oldham from getting a lot of good, open looks, and when they did, Spencer County goal keeper Jasmine Thomas made a number of good stops to keep the visitors scoreless.
Spencer County had a couple of scoring opportunities later in the first half, but couldn’t quite convert and led 1-0 at the break.
In the second half, South Oldham came out and took control of the ball and got the ball to the middle of the field where a high kick barely cleared the outstretched hands of Thomas and into the goal to knot the score at 1-1 at the 36 minute mark. Less than three minutes later, South Oldham got the numbers advantage and worked the ball for another clean look at the goal and made it 2-1 at the 33 minute mark.
Spencer County had a chance for a quick answer less than a minute later when Ratchford passed the ball to Taylor Brian who delivered a sharp kick that the Lady Dragon goalie made a good play on.
South Oldham then built their lead further with a goal at the 30 minute mark and Spencer County was facing an uphill battle against a difficult team to rally against, but they had a few opportunities. Twice on corner kicks, the Lady Bears had shots that hit the top of the bar and bounced out, the second one a beautiful header by Hannah Jaggers that missed by just and inch or two from sneaking under the bar.
The clock then became the biggest opponent as South Oldham was able to keep Spencer’s scoring threats to a minimum in the final twenty minutes of action and they held on to the victory.
The loss ended a remarkable season for the Lady Bears that saw them record a record number of victories and they were ranked among the top scoring teams in the state. Their lone losses coming into the game were all one-point narrow defeats against quality teams and they also played South Oldham to a 2-2 tie earlier in the season.
The highlight for the girls came last week when they beat Anderson County for the school’s first-ever District Title in soccer and extended their winning streak to 13 games.
Unfortunately, they drew an unfavorable draw. As a district champion, they would be matched up against a district runner-up, and the luck of the draw pitted them against the one of the region’s toughest opponents. Still, the Lady Bears proved they could compete and contend in one of the state’s toughest soccer regions and completed a season that will now be the standard that future teams are judged by.