Ladyhounds Do the Unthinkable . . . Beat Bourbon!
October 5, 2011Paris High School
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
Ladyhounds Do The Unthinkable … Beat Bourbon!
For The First Time In School History, The Paris Girls Soccer Team
Takes Down The Lady Colonels
BY IVAN K. RICE
The Doctor of Sports
The Bourbon County Citizen
PARIS - “The players were focused and ready to play. The seniors (Molly Baldridge, Shawn Crain, Marisol Perez, KK Shepherd, and Estelle Withrow) were directing the warm-up. They all did it. They played hard, smart, and as a team through-and-through. They were determined to take this one home. The parents, the students, the staff, the Paris community being the 12th player, it was amazing and inspiring. The Paris Pride swelled inside all of us.”
Those were the words of a very happy second-year Ladyhound Coach Christy Harrison, and rightfully so, after her team beat their cross-town rival for the first time in the history of the Ladyhound soccer program. The victory was no doubt the biggest soccer win ever for Paris since it came over a program that has been among the best in the state over the past 10 years.
There’s no secret that Jeff Jett’s Bourbon soccer team has owned the Ladyhounds over the years. Before last Thursday night’s encounter, the Lady Colonels had outscored Paris over the past seven seasons 52-0. They had pretty much dominated the Ladyhounds in every phase of the game. It was getting ugly! But for one night, that would all change.
Bourbon, the reigning 7-time defending region champions, came into the contest riding a three game winning streak. With that said, it appeared that Jett’s team was putting it all together just in time for the district tournament that gets underway next week. However, losing to Paris most likely slowed things down for a young Colonel team that came into this season rebuilding, instead of the usual reloading.
The Ladyhounds took the lead for good on an early goal from Shawn Crain. “Shawn’s early goal was huge,” said Harrison. “The path she took to the net and the low delivery between a well-positioned keeper and the post was one for the play-books.”
With her team leading, now it was up to the Ladyhounds defense to hold off a Lady Colonels team that has been in many big games throughout the season. Paris, who have seen a few games slip away this year because of late game slip ups, began to turn up the intensity and wasn’t about to let this game get away from them. The team shifted into a higher gear.
KK Shepherd had 7 shots that kept their keeper on guard and the Paris team pretty much forced the action all game long, but they couldn’t finish.
“Finishing has been our challenge all year, but with the early goal and persistent attack from all points of the field (Withrow feeding long balls and Baldridge taking a couple of shots herself) Coach Barr and I felt confident, still nervous, but confident that we could get the win,” commented Harrison. “I have a great deal of respect for the Bourbon athletes, so there was no room to take anything lightly. We definitely would have relaxed some had we put in another goal or two. But we didn’t, so we couldn’t.”
Defensively, Paris shockingly shut Bourbon down.
Withrow and Perez played off each other to defuse any outside threat. Cassondra Tucker and the combination of the team’s youth in the midfield kept Bourbon’s left side frustrated. Baldridge closed down the middle with the unrelenting support of freshman Chelsea Parrish, while Crain was instrumental with the control of the midfield transition. The communication on the field from the back and the casual approach in saves from sophomore keeper, Morgan White, was also a key factor in the final few minutes.
With the loss, Bourbon’s record dropped to 6-9-3 on the year and 1-3 in district play. With the win, the Ladyhounds improved to 3-8-3 on the year but more importantly 1-3 in district play to force a three-way tie for third place between them, Bourbon and Harrison. Depending on how the tie breaker works out, Bourbon and Paris could meet again next week in the opening round of the district tournament.
“Districts will be tough. No matter what happened during the season, tournament play can be entirely different,” Coach Harrison said. “However, defeating the defending 7-time region champs for the first time in school history is an intense motivator. Coach Daniel Barr and I anticipate our team to be ready and confident in competition. With the success of the other programs within our district, we collectively know we have to come out hard and with a great deal of respect and look to each game one at a time.”
For now, the Ladyhounds are going to enjoy this big win because it has brought some excitement into the school’s athletic program that has been struggling here of late.
“There’s excitement oozing and a sense of ownership,” concluded Harrison. “The 2011 Ladyhounds will long-be looked up to. We will reflect on the accomplishments and the heart behind this team forever.”
And why wouldn’t they be excited? They just beat Bourbon County and that’s not an easy task. Just ask the past Ladyhound teams who tried but failed!