October 16th, 2017

Mercy falls, Cougars advance in 6th Region Tourney

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Mercy falls, Cougars advance in 6th Region Tourney
Mercy's Bailee Locke looks to make a play with the ball / photo by Conor Revell

Injuries plagued Mercy’s soccer team all season and ended their chances of winning a sixth consecutive Sixth Region title. 

Katlyn Andres scored two goals to lead North Bullitt to a 2-0 upset victory over the host Jaguars Monday night in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament.

Mercy’s Bailee Locke and Hannah Burba both played for the first time in three weeks but were nowhere near 100 percent.

“It’s tough, Bailee laid it on the line,” Mercy head coach Lora Gralheer said. “The ankle wasn’t feeling good. We did physical therapy, wrapped it up, and did everything we could. She still played a phenominal game and was a dangerous threat. This game is going to hurt for a little bit, we came up short.”

North Bullitt (14-5-1) lost the regular season matchup 3-1 back on Sept. 26 and is only the second Sixth Region team to beat the Jaguars (7-11) since joining the region in 2012. Bullitt East’s win last week was the first.

“We changed up our formation for a little bit and I believe Mercy was one of those games that we used the new formation,” North Bullitt head coach Amber Mink said. “That was probably the biggest change on our end minus their changes with the injuries.”  

Andres put the Lady Eagles up 1-0 with 17:24 to play on a breakaway and sent her ball to the left of a diving Mercy goalkeeper Morgan Scott.

“You have to respect a player like her,” Gralheer said. “She’s very good on the ball and has the ability to make something out of nothing at times. We talked about that as a team keeping track of where she is. Good players will find ways to score. Give credit to her for finding the opportunities – especially on the set piece.”

The senior star iced the game off an assist from Jessica Eisenback when her 15-yard shot put North Bullitt up 2-0 with just 27.7 seconds remaining.

“That was Katlyn Andres being Katlyn Andres,” Mink said. “She’s an amazing talent. She has over 150 goals in her career; she has over 50 assists in her career. She sees the field, has a great touch, and has a ton of experience since she has played on varsity since seventh grade.”

With the two goals, Andres now has 52 on the season.

Mercy’s best chance to score happened with under seven minutes to play when North Bullitt goalkeeper Delayna Holman left the goal to retrieve a ball and slipped leaving an empty net but Locke’s shot hit the right post and went out of bounds.

“It would have been nice if we could have gotten a goal early,” Gralheer said. “In any elimination type of game the team that scores first is going to have a big advantage. We tried to press and created chances, we just couldn’t follow through.”

Holman saved two of the Jaguars eight shots and her defense held strong despite allowing five corner kicks.  

Scott stood in the goal for Mercy and saved four of the Lady Eagles 12 shots and had to stop one corner kick.

“We didn’t know Bailee was going to play offense,” Mink said. “She played defense the first time we played them and that forced us to make several adjustments. When that happened, we had to move our speed around. We wanted to have a little extra speed on the side that she was going to be on. Other than that, we just wanted to mark her and Mikayla Miller who is also an amazing field player. We just needed to be aware of where their good players were.”

North Bullitt advances to the Sixth Region semifinals and will play Holy Cross at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mercy.

The Jaguars say goodbye to seniors Sarah Atkinson, Londyn Bivens, Annie Mulvoy, Locke, and Scott.

“Anytime you step in as a new coach you are grateful when you have leaders on the team,” Gralheer said. “It helps you grow into your role. I was with them last year as an assistant and stepped into a new role as head coach. Knowing that I had those wonderful young ladies to help was huge. Every single one of them had an impact. It’s tough to watch our season end like this.”

Holy Cross 7, Iroquois 0

For the first time in school history, the Cougars (11-6-3) won a regional game, and advances to the Sixth Region semifinals.

Alexandra Harshfield led the way with two goals while Karly McKinney, Kailey Reed, Madison Turner, Amber Kaufman, and Carson Goatley scored goals for Holy Cross.

Haylee Ashabraner, Shalon O’Brian, Ann Oakley, McKinney, and Reed dished out assists.

Bella Velez delivered the shutout in the goal for the Cougars.

Iroquois (2-9-1) was led by goalkeeper Hayle Mathers. 


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