VERSAILLES – Franklin County soccer coach Louis Tandy felt sick after the district final match on Thursday night at Community Stadium.
The Lady Flyers were tied 1-1 with Woodford County, before scoring a goal into their own net in the second half. FCHS (11-8-1, 3-1) was never able to recover and suffered the 2-1 loss.
“They played the ball out in the middle and Shelby (Sanders) tried to clear it out and it went off her foot wrong and went in,” Tandy said. “She never was the same after that. That’s a hard thing to accept.”
Tandy said the way to move on from Thursday’s loss is to focus on the positives. Senior Lauren Taylor’s lone goal in the first half was the only time Franklin County has ever scored on the Lady Jackets.
“When we went up 1-0, our team came out and played really hard and went toe to toe with one of the top 15 teams in the state of the Kentucky,” Tandy said of Taylor’s goal. “Twice this year we have. And that’s something to be proud of.”
The Lady Flyers lost 1-0 to Woodford County on Sept. 26. FCHS still has yet to ever beat the neighboring rival. But Tandy said this is “a stepping stone for this program.”
“Four or five years ago, they were beating us 10-0 or 5-0,” he said. “Now we’re going toe to toe with them.”
Taylor’s score came on the left side of the goal as she was running alongside her younger sister, freshman Kerry Taylor. When Lauren took the shot, the ball sailed over Jacket goalkeeper Stella Adams’ outstretched hands and into the corner of the net. The goal gave the Lady Flyers a 1-0 lead with 29:32 left to play in the first half.
“We had great play from everybody,” Tandy said. “They wanted to be there. Deena Shewakah, who had an ankle injury Tuesday, was back in playing. Hailey Boden, who I’ve played a bit of everywhere, she just goes and goes. Megan Gearhart had a solid performance too. And of course, Lauren Taylor, she just keeps getting better and better.
“She is a director. She makes sure everyone is where they need to be. She leads by example. I couldn’t be more proud. I know she’s extremely ill, because we lost and I am too.”
The Lady Jackets answered in the first half with their own goal past FCHS goalkeeper Megan Gearhart. Junior Lindsey Sizemore assisted senior L.J. Phelps with the tying score at 20:25 on the clock.
Both teams were held scoreless until junior Libby Wilhoit threatened the middle of the Lady Flyer goal. That’s when Sanders’ wild ball went into her own net for the Woodford score with 33:26 left in the second half.
The bad luck continued for FCHS. A ball that went in the goal from Kilbourne to Kerry Taylor was called back, because it also hit the football goal post. The score would’ve tied the match.
Tandy said Woodford County’s defensive effort kept the Lady Flyers quiet.
“Once they got up 2-1, they would just trap Lauren,” he said. “She just couldn’t even breathe.”
The 2-1 loss meant FCHS leaves the district tournament as runner-up and Woodford County (10-4-4, 4-0) takes the tournament championship title. But the Lady Flyers’ season doesn’t end there. They still get to play in the regional tournament next week at Woodford County. The schedule of play will be decided tonight.
nThose named to the all-tournament team were Georgia Ueltschi and Aubrey Persons from Frankfort High, Harper Jones and MacKenzie Jones from Western Hills, Lauren Taylor, Dasia Kilbourne and Megan Gearhart from Franklin County and Riley Davis, Lindsey Sizemore, Jodi DeJohn from Woodford County. Phelps of Woodford County was named the tournament’s most valuable player.