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HEBRON ESTATES - Not even a mid-afternoon thunder storm could stop North Bullitt and Bullitt Central from meeting last Friday in a key 23rd District girls’ soccer match.
The contest was delayed 30 minutes because of the heavy rain that blew through the area, but when play did start, the clouds parted and the game was played in good weather.
In the end, North Bullitt picked up the win as two late goals cemented a 3-0 victory.
The win moves the Lady Eagles to 2-0 in district play and puts them into line for the top seed in the post-season tournament which will be played at Bullitt Central the week of Oct. 8.
This was the first district game of the season for Bullitt Central.
In fact, this was the only meeting during the regular season between the two county-rivals.
North Bullitt had the advantage of possession early in the contest and they broke through on offense 22 minutes into the first half when sophomore Rachel Badgett got her foot on a pass from Amber Johnson and pushed it into the back of the net. That was the only goal of the first half.
Bullitt Central countered with a blistering attack early in the second half. The Lady Cougars had a number of long runs that they just could not get past North Bullitt goalie Shelby Crenshaw. The biggest chance came when the maroon and gray had a penalty kick, but Crenshaw turned the shot by freshman Kassi Gilbert away.
With the momentum from the defense, North Bullitt was able to score a pair of goals over the final 20 minutes of the game. Johnson scored the second goal on an assist from Badgett before Badgett got her second goal in the closing moments.
The two goals by Badgett give her 12 for the season. All of those goals have come in the last five games as she has scored at least two goals in each of those outings.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do,” North Bullitt head coach Ryan Bringhurst said after the match. “There were some opportunities they had in the second half. We made some nice plays and had some luck on our side. Sometimes that is all you need.”
North Bullitt was coming off a 6-2 loss to Bullitt East six days earlier.
“I think we played well for most of the game,” Bringhurst said. “There were some lulls.
“We have worked on conditioning all summer,” the coach added. “I’ve told the girls that we might lose to a team that is better, but I don’t want to lose to a team that is in better condition. We have good depth with no drop-off.”
This was the second shut-out in the past three games for Crenshaw in goal. This is her first season between the pipes.
“She has been improving every game,” Bringhurst said. “She’s a natural athlete and she is playing really well. She is learning and getting there.”
North Bullitt is now 5-7 heading into some tough competition this week as they will play in the Bulldog Cup at Male High School.
Bullitt had picked up its first win of the season a few days earlier when they knocked off Whitefield Academy 5-2, but they just could not get the big goal there early in the second half.
“I was incredibly happy with the way the team played, especially the first 60 to 65 minutes,” first-year Bullitt Central head coach Brandy Sharp said later. “When we work as a team, the varsity is offensively and defensively competitive. The team has played well in every game and has shown continuous improvement this season.
“I was not frustrated by the missed opportunities because the girls have worked hard to get those opportunities,” the coach added. “I’m glad we are getting the scoring opportunities and hope we can grow as a team so in the future we can capitalize on those chances.”
With only four teams in the new 23rd District and with North Bullitt already crushing Southern 10-0, there is a good possibility that the two Bullitt County teams could meet again in the post-season.
“I have high expectations for the season and post-season,” Sharp said. “I think our team can compete with any of the schools in the new district.”
Bullitt Central’s record is now 1-3-1 and they will play district rivals Moore and Southern over the next two Tuesdays.
BE Splits Two
After beating North Bullitt 6-2 the previous week, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers split a pair of games over the next week.
First, the red and gold turned back Sixth Region rival Butler 5-1. In that game, the Lady Chargers got two goals from Lexi Higginbotham along with single goals from Jessi Hottois, Alnee Tutson and Elizabeth Hatter.
On Monday of this week, Bullitt East dropped a 3-1 decision to North Hardin with Hatter getting the only goal.
Bullitt East’s 7-3 record is the best mark in the Sixth Region at this point in the season.