After struggling during the first half, all Frankfort High needed was a score.
One goal later, the Lady Panthers were on fire as they poured it on to win 3-0 over Presentation Tuesday night at Sower Soccer Complex.
“Our second half performance was much better than the first,” FHS coach Adam Saunderson said. “Once we got a score, the girls got their confidence again.”
Saunderson said while the Lady Panthers dominated the possession, he still felt like they came out slow in the first half.
“I thought the offense picked it up in the second half,” he said. “While I still think 3-0 is not the score we should have come away with after all the chances we had, it is still convincing enough to show that we dominated the game.”
But it wasn’t until five minutes into the second half that Frankfort (1-3-1) finally put points on the board.
FHS senior Tika Shaw continued to attack Presentation’s goal for the majority of the game, but couldn’t connect. Shaw had four different shots hit off the goal’s crossbar or side posts.
One of Shaw’s missed shots bounced off the top crossbar in front of the goal where freshman Logan Amburgey put it in for the score. Amburgey’s goal gave Frankfort a 1-0 advantage with 35:15 left to play in the game.
“Tika was very unlucky,” Saunderson said. “I think she hit the post at least four times in that game. The odds are if you have that many, one of them will go in. She had two assists and played a very good game.”
Junior Maggie Smith followed Amburgey’s goal with one of her own. Smith raced down the field driving to the net and connected the ball into the far corner for a 2-0 lead with 11:16 remaining.
The Lady Panthers continued to put pressure on the Toppers down to the very end. Presentation’s sophomore goalkeeper Eyrica Roos came out of the goal to collect a ball, but couldn’t hold onto it when Amburgey hit it in for the score with 34.4 seconds left.
“She had two goals and as a freshman that’s just going to build her confidence,” Saunderson said. “We can expect more goals from her going forward. She’s very happy about her performance tonight and so was I.”
Because of Amburgey’s two scores, Saunderson was able to give backup goalie Serena Frye a chance to take over for veteran keeper Maya Burke with six minutes to play.
“Maya had complete control over our goal,” he said. “Anytime you have a clean sheet, the job (our defenders) did on the ball, I never thought we were in any danger of conceding.”
Presentation (1-3) only threatened to score once in the second half when Burke dove on a ball in the box. The ball bounced away from her body before Burke pulled it in to her chest.
“We kept the ball in their half of the field for the most part,” Saunderson said. “This is a team we played in preseason and we beat convincingly then, too. I was confident coming in that we could get the job done and we did.”
While Saunderson was pleased with the victory, he was also glad to see the return of three of his starters who were hurt in games recently.
“We had some players back from injury — Taylor Addams, Emily Leamon and Katie Coyle — and all played an excellent game,” Saunderson said. “I was very impressed. They looked healthy. We are on the mend.”