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BUCKNER – Oldham County’s first step on its road to a state girls soccer championship proved not to be too tough at all.
The Lady Colonels blitzed Region 5 champion Elizabethtown 6-0 Tuesday night in the semi-state round. OC scored four first half goals and cruised to the victory.
“I think we’re all playing really well together,” senior defender Karigan Owens said. “We’re peaking at the time, finally realizing where everyone is on the field. We’re all playing really well.”
The Lady Panthers’ strategy Tuesday was to pack their defenders into the box rather than directly pressure Lady Colonel stars Shelby Cohen and Haley Kemper.
OC had prepared for that strategy by playing 11-on-15 soccer during practice the last few days, coach Dan Schulz said.
“We knew they were going to pack it in,” Schulz said. “That’s what they did last time (a 2-1 OC win on Aug. 24)... We just knew if we were patient, things were going to happen for us.”
After a few chances came up empty, the floodgates broke when Allie Houk scored off an assist from Kemper with 31:46 left in the first half.
Kemper got one of her own a few minutes later, scoring off an Owens corner kick to make the score 2-0 in favor of OC.
“That’s something we’ve really gotten good at this season,” Owens said of the quick start. “We jump on teams in the first few minutes and it helps a lot to keep our nerves down.”
Cohen made the score 3-0 five minutes before half, dribbling around two Lady Panthers and scoring. She missed a shot just minutes later, but Lindsey Salvadelenea hammered home the rebound to make the score 4-0 at half.
Houk and Hannah Roehrig scored second half goals to make the score 6-0.
Making the win special for Schulz was the fact a half dozen of his former players were in attendance Tuesday, he said.
“They’ve all been supportive with the texts and the phone calls,” Schulz said. “I get them all the time from them. It’s great.”
OC moves on to meet Region 4 champion Bowling Green Saturday at Lafayette High School in Lexington. As of The Era’s press deadline, a kickoff time had not been set.
“We’ve got to keep taking it one game at a time,” Owens said. “Obviously, we’re already farther than last year, and that’s awesome. So we just want to keep it going.”
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