Rowan County girls’ soccer picked up their seventh straight win, 1-0, over Harrison County Monday night.
“We had a ton of momentum coming out of Thursday’s win over Russell, hadn’t beat them in three years. Getting over that hill physically and mentally then taking care of Bluegrass Saturday, we carried that momentum into tonight. We knew we would have a little bit of advantage with the turf and so we wanted to treat it like the first round of region,” said Lady Vikings Coach Alan Evans.
The Lady Vikings struggled to figure out the Fillies’ possession style offense, but once they were able to get on the same page the game seemed to shift.
The Lady Vikings battled through a tough first half leaving the score knotted at zero going into the second. They were able to push the Fillies’ offense wide and prevent any kind of direct attacks from Kylie Hidgin and Laurel Mc Daniel.
“It took a lot of communication and serious passion. We really had to get in the mindset to understand how they played. They had a style similar to Ashland, a lot of ball handling, a lot of possessions. They kind of like to play more east to west and we are more of a north to south team,” said senior forward Promise Cross.
“That was something we have to get used to the more teams we play. I feel we struggle at that, but all together, we played with a lot of heart and like a team. We came out wanting the win.”
Cross saw a quality opportunity in the 26th minute. Catching up on a through ball, she made a shot headed for below the cross bar, but was tipped just high by Harrison County’s goalkeeper, Elizabeth Allison.
Allison made a kick save on Cross’ shot on goal in the 71st minute and stripped Kelsey Lewis of a ball in the 53rd minute.
Cross scored the only goal of the night in the 44th minute. From the far left and about 20 yards out, Cross chipped one over the defense and keeper.
“That is probably one of the farthest goals I have had this season. I am more of the ‘in the box’ kind of person. My range has always been more in the box, but my coaches have been having me play more at center mid and taking those long shots. I honestly think it has helped a lot,” said Cross.
Cross inches closer to her 100th goal. She leads the Vikings in goals with eight goals prior to last Saturday’s game against Bluegrass United.
“Right now it is just one game at a time, but hoping towards the end of the season I get close or maybe get there. We will just have to see what happens. But yeah, I have had it in the back of my mind. I will say that,” said Cross.
Senior keeper Meagan Gonzalez picked up her fourth shutout this season. This makes it her 21st career shutout. She is working hard toward reaching her 25th career shutout to make onto the KHSAA leaderboards.
The Vikings’ defense led by seniors Allyah Barker and Kaitlyn Hinton are working hard to help Gonzalez meet her goal before season’s end.
The Lady Vikings are 8-1-1. They lost to Ashland in the season opener, but have remained undefeated since. They tied Anderson County out of Clinton, Tennessee, in the Smoky Mountain Cup in Gatlinburg where they won their division going 2-0-1.
“It is exciting to see how well we have been doing with such a young team and how well we have bonded and worked together to improve. Going forward working on little skills like possession, first touch, passing to feet, keep the ball on the ground will help us improve. That is what I am expecting, but as far as our team work goes, the going hard and our passion I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished,” said Gonzalez.
The Lady Vikings checked one off their to-do-list last Thursday when they beat Russell, 3-1. It has been a long time in the making, but they finally beat the Lady Devils after a three-year drought. The Lady Devils had put an end to the Lady Vikings’ postseason run all three years.
The future's looking bright, however, it will be anything but smooth sailing. Coach Evans plans to put the Lady Vikings through the wringer before the regular season comes to an end. They plan to approach next week’s series of games like the regional tournament. It is all about getting postseason ready.
The Lady Vikings take on Montgomery County tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Montgomery County before taking on Bath County next Tuesday and 15th Region opponent Johnson Central (7-1-3) next Thursday. The Lady Vikings lost 5-2 to the Lady Eagles last season.