The Franklin-Simpson girls soccer team moved to 1-1 in District 13 play after a history-making win last week over Russellville.
In their first district tilt of the season, the Lady Cats fell 4-3 at home against Todd County Central on Aug. 24 as part of the Wildcats Invitational. Junior Kate Norwood accounted for all three goals, scoring two and assisting on the other scored by Mackenzie Reece.
Just three days later, Franklin-Simpson traveled to Russellville to take on the Lady Panthers. The girls in blue were dominant, breaking the double-digit goal plain for the first time since 2012 en route to a 11-1 win. Norwood scored four goals, with Reece, Evyn McCutchen, and Anna Walker all scoring two apiece.
Starting goalkeeper Lexi Phillips rounded out the scoring with a goal of her own, and she also had six saves and gave up just one goal scored by Russellville. Through the first five games of the season, Phillips has an exceptional 63 saves, averaging over 10 a game.
"Lexi (Phillips) a well rounded player since U14 in Recreation League," Anderson said. When we pulled her out of goal for a scoring opportunity, it took all of 20 or 30 seconds for her and her teammates to make that happen. Also as a team captain, she helps lead the team with an understanding of the game that she has been able to convey to her teammates since middle school."
Lady Cats head coach Dennis Anderson credits the team's communication on the field for the district victory over the Lady Panthers.
"This is something all the successful coaches I have seen or heard of stress constantly," Anderson said. "This team has worked on that through the off season. Our first few games we struggled with that, but last night in adverse conditions our team came together and made it work. These girls also improved their hustle and fight on the field. Together with teamwork, these girls intend to improve on previous season records and go further in the post season. This is a really good District win bringing us to a 1-1-0 record with 5 more District games to play. They understand the importance of District wins and performing consistently and well. Our first game against Todd Co. Central was close and hard fought. Todd County always seem to play us hard with the outcome being close, either way. Russellville played very hard and did not make it easy, despite what the score may indicate. Overcoming a team like Logan County will not be easy either. After having seen the performance last night, I am even more encouraged by the heart and potential of this team this season. As earlier stated, when this team concentrates on teamwork, communication and hustle, the results speak for themselves in a very positive way. Our staff looks for even more success for these ladies this season."
After a loss to Barren County Thursday, the Lady Cats now sit at 1-4 on the young season. Through those first five games, the Lady Cats have scored 17 goals, led by Norwood's nine. Kate scored 12 to lead the team last season, but she's currently on pace for 25 this year.
The girls in blue now have their sights set on a huge district clash at Logan County on Tuesday. The Lady Cougars are the only remaining undefeated squad in the 13th district, as they already have wins over Todd County Central and Russellville under their belt.
After Tuesday's battle, the Lady Cats will return home for a four-game homestand, starting with the return matchup with Todd County Central next Tuesday.
F-S 4, Russellville 3
Two goals each by junior Alan Olivo and sophomore Ben Banton led the Wildcats as they each scored to lead the Wildcats for their first 13th District victory and overall for the season.
"This win was significant because not only was it our first district win of the year but it was our first win in general of the year," Wildcats head coach Justin Dyer said. "We have played some very tough competition this far, including Russellville, and it was good to get one in the win column. For the players, I think the win helped to justify the amount of sweat equity they have been putting into this season. Every day at practice they are looking to get better and they finally have a result to show for it."
Banton scored on an unassisted goal in the first half as they trailed 2-1 at halftime. Second half, they came out With an assist from Olivo, Banton scored his second goal of the game that tied the game at 2-2. Then Banton returned the favor as he assisted on Olivo's first goal of the game. Then later in the ahlf, Olivo scored the game winner from an assist by senior Johnny M,artin for the 4-3 victory over the Panthers.
"Very sloppy conditions, but I thought the field held up well," Dyer said. "Russellville jumped out on us early with two quick goals, but I was super proud of the fight in the team to refocus and grab a goal back before halftime. During halftime, defensively we talked about moving together as a unit and stepping to or closing down the man with the ball. Offensively, we talked about trusting our teammates and attacking open space. I was proud of the fact that the team continued to look to score even after going up 3-2 with just a little time left in the game. It would have been easy for them to drop off and just defend to squeak out a win, but they stayed focused and kept trying for the fourth goal."
Both teams have 13th District games coming up at the F-S soccer and Softball Complex on Tuesday night, Sept .10 against the Todd County Central Rebels, Sept. 17th against Russellville and Sept. 24 against the Logan County Cougars. Theiur game at Todd County Central that was postponed has been rescheduled on Sept. 26 at Elkton.