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Nelson end's North's run 4-0

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By Mike Farner

BARDSTOWN -- For the third straight season, the soccer season for the North Bullitt Lady Eagles came to an end in the semi-finals of the Ninth District Tournament.

On Monday, it was a 3-0 setback to Nelson County that ended the season for the green and gold.

Unfortunately, since the three Bullitt County teams were shifted into the Ninth District six years ago, a local team has not reached the championship game.

A night after beating Bullitt Central 6-0, North Bullitt could generate very little offense against the Lady Cardinals, a team they had tied 2-2 during the regular season. Nelson County controlled the midfield and like a bubble over the offensive end of the field, managed to keep the ball in an attack position most of the game.

Still, coach Kent Steier’s team turned back a number of Nelson County chances with a strong defensive effort and good goalie play from Taylor Heltsley early in the contest. The first goal didn’t come until just 5:40 remained in the first half when Nelson County took advantage of a corner kick that reached the far side of the net where it was headed sharply into the goal.

That 1-0 score stood at halftime.

The outlook changed then just 45 seconds into the second half. Nelson County pushed the ball forward and then took a relatively pedestrian shot from the left side of the goal. Heltsley was in position, but for the first time in the match, the ball just slipped through her hands and into the goal.

It was more of the same down the stretch. Midway through the second half, Nelson County got the insurmountable lead when the Lady Cardinals converted another corner kick into a goal. The ball hit the ground in front of the goal and a Nelson County player pushed it into the net from point blank range.

In the final ten minutes, Nelson County put the icing on the cake with another goal.

The loss ended North Bullitt’s season at 11-5-2. As it turns out, the two ties came against the two teams that will play for the district title on Wednesday - Nelson County and Bethlehem.

In fact, North Bullitt’s game started almost an hour later than scheduled when the Bethlehem-Bardstown semi-final game went two overtimes and then wasn’t decided until the sixth chance on penalty kicks by a 5-4 count.

North Bullitt had warmed up for the semi-finals with a 6-0 victory over Bullitt Central on Sunday night. The game was close for a half at 2-0 before North Bullitt pulled away in the second half.

It was the second win this season for the Lady Eagles over their county rivals. North Bullitt got two goals each from Heather Stillwell and Nicole Scott and also had single goals from Claudia Lopez and Courtney Johnson.

Bullitt Central did manage to win four games this season, but failed to win any of its games against district foes.

Bullitt East also closed out its season on Sunday with a 2-0 loss to Bethlehem. That was the same score and outcome as when the two teams played in the regular season in Mount Washington.

The first season for the Lady Chargers under head coach Britney Linde ended with a 7-9-1 record. The team got better as the season progressed, winning five of its last seven contests.