Frankfort High scored first, Franklin County scored late, and the Lady Flyers came up with a 3-1 win over FHS Monday in the Rotary Capital City Classic at Sower Soccer Field.
The Lady Panthers led or were tied for most of the match. FCHS took its first lead at 2-1 on a goal by Kerry Taylor with 19:46 left in the game, and Deena Shewekah gave Franklin County an insurance goal with 2½ minutes remaining.
“It’s not that we played all that bad, but they came out and played really well,” FCHS coach Louis Tandy said about Frankfort. “They came out ready to play and took it to us.
“They didn’t back down one bit. They got up on that PK (penalty kick) and played like they were going to stay there.”
The Lady Flyers were called for a foul in the penalty box with just over 25 minutes left in the first half.
FHS’ Maggie Smith drilled the penalty kick, giving the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead they took into halftime.
“We had them locked up in the first half,” FHS coach Adam Saunderson said, “really until they scored that own goal, which was purely an accident, and got back in the game.”
The own goal came with 27:30 left in the match, when a ball went off a Frankfort defender and into the FCHS goal to tie the match at 1-1.
“We had the ball in our area, and if you keep it in your area … it just went off their player the wrong way,” Tandy said. “We settled down after that and started moving the ball, which is what we wanted to do.
“You don’t have to go forward. You can play it back, play it wide, play it to the middle. We had it at our end before but didn’t have that killer instinct.”
Taylor’s goal broke the stalemate, and Shewekah’s gave FCHS some breathing room.
“Kerry scored that first goal with her left foot from pretty far out,” Tandy said, “and Deena does all the little things that make everything go.”
Saunderson was pleased with the leadership shown by second-year captains Georgia Ueltschi and Aubrey Persons, both seniors.
“Their leadership in the pre-season was tremendous, and their leadership on the field tonight was tremendous,” he said. “Georgia has an injury but she played through it.
“Most of our players are back (from last year),” Saunderson said. “We have a lot of new players who hadn’t played the game before, but they played excellent this game. They all did.”
Megan Gearhart was in goal for the Lady Flyers, and Maya Burke was Frankfort’s goalkeeper.
Monday’s game was the season opener for both teams, who continue tournament play Wednesday. Frankfort will play Western Hills at 6 p.m., and FCHS will take on Owen County at 8.
“The effort we got from everyone, from start to finish, was just tremendous,” Saunderson said. “I don’t think I’ve had a team work as hard as that. Franklin County is a really, really good team, and to come out and put on that kind of performance makes us very proud Panthers. They should all be proud.”