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GIRLS' SOCCER: Tigers red-hot as postseason arrives

November 28, 2012
Bardstown High School



GIRLS' SOCCER: Tigers red-hot as postseason arrives

Bardstown finishes regular season with wins over Top 25 Manual, Boyle

By Peter W. Zubaty, Sports Editor
 

With wins over a pair of top-25 teams in the final week of the season and a near-miss against another ranked side, it’s official: Bardstown is hot, and at just the right time.

Christine Seaman’s left leg ripples from the impact of a hard kick from Boyle County’s Kelly Padgett Thursday. Seaman, a senior, is one of several Tiger players who saw their playing time increase as Bardstown has overcome some key injuries.
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Christine Seaman’s left leg ripples from the impact of a hard kick from Boyle County’s Kelly Padgett Thursday. Seaman, a senior, is one of several Tiger players who saw their playing time increase as Bardstown has overcome some key injuries.
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Peter W. Zubaty
Christine Seaman’s left leg ripples from the impact of a hard kick from Boyle County’s Kelly Padgett Thursday. Seaman, a senior, is one of several Tiger players who saw their playing time increase as Bardstown has overcome some key injuries.

“It actually feels pretty great” to be peaking at the right time, Tiger goalkeeper Mallory Greer said following a 1-0 win over No. 21 Boyle County Thursday, her third straight shutout and seventh of the season. “I guess we’ve just prepared for it all season and we’re just ready for (the postseason) now.”

The Tigers (11-4-1) opened the season with six wins in its first seven matches, its only blemish during that stretch a 1-1 draw with No. 17 Woodford County. Bardstown hit a midseason lull, dropping three of four matches, including a 3-0 loss to No. 5 St. Henry in the All A State Cup and a 1-0 district loss to rival Nelson County. Since then, the heat has returned, as Bardstown rolls into Monday’s district tournament winners of four of its last five.

Kaitlyn Wathen — who assisted Emma Cecil on the lone goal against Boyle — joins Greer as part of an eight strong senior group. She said the team has benefited from the demanding schedule, and the challenges are paying off now.

“I think it really helps us see how we’re coming together as a team,” she said. “It gives us courage and just makes us happy, and shows us our potential.”

The biggest surprise is that the Tigers have been getting it done despite injuries in some key spots in the starting lineup.

“We’ve had injuries we thought were going to hurt us, (but) we’ve had some players step in and we’ve sort of gelled,” Bardstown coach Martin Bodkin said.

Wathen said the adversity has made the Tigers tougher, and the adjustments to new players in the rotation has been as seamless as possible.

“Honestly, it has not been hard” for the team to integrate new faces into the lineup, Wathen said. “It doesn’t even seem like we lost people. When we did (lose people to) injuries, it was a struggle for a little bit, but people really stepped up and did their part, and they have done really well.”

Bodkin said the team has grown by leaps and bounds since the season began, and patience has been a big part of it.

“Just trying to get an extra pass in here and there to get forward as a group,” he said. “We didn’t have that earlier in the season.”

Above all, “everything just fell into place,” he said. “It really wasn’t anything to do with the coaching. It was the girls themselves. They embraced what we taught.”

Having a deep group of seniors — a group that figured prominently in winning two of the past three district titles — hasn’t hurt.

“As it gets to this time of the year, that experience really comes into play,” Bodkin said.

Having a hot goalkeeper doesn’t hurt either, especially when she’s as confident in her defense as Greer is. She said if things do break down, she can be there to clean up any messes the way she did on a few occasions Thursday with diving saves to deny the Rebels.

“If I know my defense can’t get to them, I’ll go,” she said. “But if I know that they have a chance … I just wait to see what options I have.”

Bardstown, the No. 2 seed, hosts the district tournament. They’ll take on No. 3 seed Bethlehem (8-7-3) at 7:30 p.m. Monday; top-seeded Nelson County (12-6) takes on No. 4 seed Thomas Nelson (7-8-2) at 5:30 p.m. The Tigers won both regular-season matchups with the Banshees: 3-0 in All A Classic regional play and 2-1 in district play.


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