5 Takeaways from Area Soccer
5 Takeaways From Area Soccer
There’s Elizabethtown and then there’s everyone else. Last season, when Corey Yates Panthers ran the table in the District (not to mention the Region) until till their untimely demise on a rain soaked field in the semi-finals, the conventional thinking was this team was set for a repeat. Even the loss of senior scorer Jansen Wilson could not stop the Elizabethtown Express as they are currently undefeated (14-0-2) and have some legitimate scorers in Tait Pritchard, Preston Thomas and Luis Gomez. They have even learned from their mistakes as their shootout win over Central Hardin in an early regular season attests. Now only a Sept. 25th meeting against the Bruins and a Sept 27th match against john Hardin are the only things standing in their way for another regular season sweep.
The Bruins, Trojans and Bulldogs are still pretty close. What happens in the second season sometimes determines what happened in the regular season. If you really want to see just how close the teams are in the 17th District just check out the scores. Elizabethtown went to a shootout to finish off Central Hardin, the Bruins slipped by North Hardin in double overtime and a 2-0 score in their meetings. North Hardin beat John Hardin 5-1 and then just 1-0 in their two meetings. The Bulldogs were in their second meetings with North Hardin and Central Hardin and still have Elizabethtown later this month. Some believe that the Central Hardin upset last season was setup by the Bruins being in the fourth seed thus their game against Elizabethtown was played in a monsoon which evened the playing field. There is no doubt that seeding could lead to more upsets this time around too in the Wild and Wooly 17th District.
The Lady Banshees look like they want to 4PEAT! There’s no doubt that the Bethlehem Girls soccer team was going to look a little different this season with plenty of quality talent gone through graduation and then after their 9-2 destruction by DuPont Manuel, who would have thought they could recover from that. Since then, the Lady Banshees have gone 11-0-2 and have looked every bit as good as they did during their last three 5th Region Champion seasons, but it hasn’t been easy. At different points of the season, head coach Danny Rossell has had to play without star forward Abigail Proctor and Jordan Cross because of injuries, but Maddie Sparks and Carly Beam have picked up the slack (27-goals and 19-goals respectably), while Ginny Spalding has stepped up with 14-goals. With both Proctor and Cross back, their dream of a 4Peat looks very possible.
Elizabethtown looks to challenge again. It seems almost strange to say that the Lady Panthers haven’t won the Region Tournament in nearly four years, but the Cry of the Lady Banshees saw a shift in the power struggle. Still, Elizabethtown is Elizabethtown and they carry a 14-1 record and have allowed only 12-goals. The youth of the team is led by Gabby Garcia (28-goals / 12-assists) and Josie Kremzar (16-goals /13-assists) and they look like they will be good for years to come, but Bethlehem may not be the only team that head coach Pat Black should worry about.
Here come the Lady Tigers. Probably the biggest surprise last season may have been Bardstown which beat the Elizabethtown Lady Panthers in the semi-finals of the 5th Region Tournament 2-1 in a classic thus 2017 was the first time in so many seasons that a 17th District team was not in the Region Final. Head coach Martin Bodkin has done a marvelous job replacing a roster that lost plenty of senior talent last year to a team which is 12-4 and has beaten both Central Hardin and Elizabethtown during the regular season. Emma Livingston has stepped up (28-goals) and Molly Bodkin (9-goals) have played well and the defense has allowed only 28-goals.