August 17th, 2011

Tie Again: SHA, Jags End Up Scoreless

Holly Freeland

Staff Writer

Tie Again: SHA, Jags End Up Scoreless
photo by Holly Freeland

Soccer teams cap second consecutive tie games in 0-0 finish

The Sacred Heart Academy and Mercy Academy soccer teams both earned its second tie in as many tries on Wednesday, as the Valkyries and Jaguars battled to a scoreless draw.

SHA tied West Jessamine 1-1 in its season opener on Monday, while Mercy settled for another scoreless tie against Christian Academy to open its 2011 campaignm, also on Monday.

Mercy started the game at the helm from the kick off, but the Valkries took over possession early on in the opening minutes of the match. Just nine minutes into the game, however, the Jags' Kayla Richardson notched a shot on goal that sailed wide to break up what had been a mostly defensive effort for the Jaguars. 

“She’s our bread and butter,” Mercy Head Coach Sam Hayward said of Richardson. “Sacred Heart played her very well throughout the game as most of the time they had two people on her.” 

While Richardson would get two more shots at Sacred Heart’s goal, the Valkries dominated ownership of the ball most of the first half. Using an attack built up from the back, Sacred Heart rarely lost control of the ball, often having four or more players passing the ball through every possession. It was their lack of finishing in the offensive third that would be their Achilles Heel in the hard-fought tie this evening. 

Though Mercy finished the first half on a strong note, recording their first corner kick of the game with 10 minutes left to go, Sacred Heart stayed poised and disciplined and kept within their game plan. Emily Epley, Caroline Wistrom and Mary Kate Schmidt had shots to try to put Sacred Heart in the lead, but the teams would go into the second half scoreless at 0-0. 

The second half saw much of the same for both teams as Sacred Heart rarely gave up possession and saw numerous offensive opportunities. The Jaguars goalkeeper, Lauren Lee, was fearless in goal, though, as she had save after save throughout the game. At one point in the second half, Dircksen had two diving saves on consecutive attempts by the Valkries, never allowing the ball to pass her into the back of the net. 

Sacred Heart had four corner kicks in the second half alone, but was unable to capitalize on any of the opportunities. 

Mercy's Hayward believes his team’s first few games helped them stay within reach of the five- time state champion Valkries.

“We were voted 22nd in the polls (to start the season). We beat the No. 9 team (Highlands) and then we went onto tie Christian Academy Louisville and we then beat Central Hardin convincingly, who are ranked 14th in the polls. So, we’ve played the No. 9, No. 10 and No. 14 teams in the state, and we’ve shown what we can do. They are a very good group of players. It’s a team of mostly juniors and freshmen, but they all get along great and I think you could see that tonight.” 

Mercy's next matchup is at Male on August 23rd at 7:15pm, while Sacred Heart takes on Christian Academy Louisville on August 22nd at 6pm at Sacred Heart.


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