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Eagles win pair on opening day of 23rd District soccer

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By Mike Farner

 LOUISVILLE - The two North Bullitt soccer teams got the 2012 post-season off to winning starts on Monday as both the Eagles and Lady Eagles won opening round games in their respective 23rd District Tournaments.

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Playing at Southern High School, the Lady Eagles made it look easy as they rolled past Moore 10-0 in a contest that was stopped ten minutes into the second half based on the ‘mercy’ rule. North Bullitt, the top seed in the four-team field, will play in the championship game on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Southern against the winner of Tuesday’s Bullitt Central-Southern contest.

The road is going to be a little more difficult for the Eagles as they are playing in the five-team boys’ tournament at Moore. Seeded fourth, the green and gold scored a goal in each half to beat Bullitt Central 2-0.

That win moved North Bullitt into Tuesday’s semi-finals where they were to take on top-seeded Southern.

Lady Eagles Roll

Just a week earlier, North Bullitt had played Moore and won 5-0. The Lady Mustangs have not won a game this season and in that contest Lady Eagle head coach Ryan Bringhurst felt that his team had been a little overconfident and had not played that well.

That was certainly not the case on Monday as the green and gold bolted from the gate and scored less than 30 seconds into the match. By halftime the score was 8-0 and the game was called ten minutes into the second half when the score got to 10-0.

“We went into the first game against Moore overconfident and then they out sluggish and didn’t play very well at all early,” Bringhurst said. “I knew during warm-ups that we had the right mindset last night because the girls were as focused as they have been all season.”

On Monday, the Lady Eagles got five goals from sophomore Breanna Sherrard including both of the goals in the second half. The green and gold also got single goals from Emily Faust, Elizabeth Grau, Amber Johnson and Kristi Velasquez. Myranda Druien was credited with three assists in the win while Devan Bennington had one assist.

Moore rarely put any pressure on North Bullitt’s defense as goalie Shelby Crenshaw recorded the shut-out.

North Bullitt lost sophomore Rachel Badgett to an injury late in the season and is just now putting the pieces back together.

“We have shifted the line-up a little to try and generate some additional offense,” Bringhurst said. “Since we lost Badgett for the season in the game against Thomas Nelson, we have struggled to find ourselves offensively. I think that we are starting to get that back. Bre really stepped up last night and gave us the lift we have been needing.”

North Bullitt will now go for the first district title in school history in girls’ soccer on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Southern High School.

Eagles Advance

While the Lady Eagles were playing at Southern, the North Bullitt boys were in action just a few miles away at Moore High School in the first-round of the 23rd District Tournament.

Scoring has been a major issue for the Eagles this season, but they found just enough of that on Monday to beat Bullitt Central 2-0. In 17 games this season, the Eagles had scored only 13 goals. The team’s only win was a 5-0 decision over Bullitt Central during the first week of the season.

The offense responded in this game with goals by junior Tyler Whitmer in each half and then rode the goal-keeping of junior Chase Coomer to the win.

“In the second half we did a good job of passing the ball,” North Bullitt head coach Chris Bass said. “The first half was a little shaky. We got some shots in the second half, but just couldn’t finish.”

Just scoring was a lift for the green and gold.

“That’s been a big issue for us,” Bass said. “We lost 15 seniors from last year so we lost a lot of athleticism. I think we have improved every game this year.” 

Just improving was the name of the game for Bullitt Central this season. The Cougars, under first-year head coach Dane Clark, did not have any seniors and only a handful of juniors. The team played a limited varsity schedule without a victory (in nine games), but laid a foundation for the future.

Clark felt that his team got much better late in the season but that they didn’t carry that over the game with North Bullitt.

“You should have seen us over the last four games,” The coach said. “We were better then than the team that showed up today.

“Overall, we have made great strides,” Clark added. “But, we didn’t bring that today. But in everything we improved like in being more aggressive and passing. We scored some goals. We just didn’t have it today.”

The youthfulness was part of the situation.

“There were definitely some nerves,” Clark noted. “North has the size on us. They pushed us off some balls. But definitely there were nerves today.”

The 23rd District Tournament continued on Tuesday with the two semi-finals and the championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Moore.