Owensboro Catholic’s Maddie Hayden moves up the ball against Daviess County’s Mia Griffith in the 3rd Region Tournament championship game on Thursday at Shifley Park.

Coming off a stirring 3-0 shutout of archrival Daviess County in Thursday’s championship match of the Girls’ 3rd Region Soccer Tournament, upstart Owensboro Catholic turns its attention to Marshall County.

The Lady Aces will visit the 1st Region champion Lady Marshals in Draffenville at 4 p.m. Saturday in the opening round of the KHSAA state tournament.

It figures to be a tough assignment for Catholic, which dropped a 7-1 decision to the Lady Marshals on Sept. 26 at Marshall County High School.

“We have to defend, we have to play aggressive, and we have to play as a team,” first-year Lady Aces head coach Andy Hines said. “Our team has improved tremendously since the start of a short season.

“These girls had a new head coach (the third in three seasons), had to learn a different way to play, and we have a young team that has responded the right way and has held up really well in this transition.”

Catholic (9-7) is led by sophomore midfielder Maddie Hayden (16 goals, 8 assists) and junior forward Ashton Logsdon (10 goals, 10 assists).

Others with three or more goals include sophomore midfielder Ella Claire Goetz, sophomore midfielder Gracie Johnson, freshman midfielder Mallary Bailey, sophomore defender Rachel Traylor, sophomore forward Katie Riney, and freshman defender Annie Helwig.

In the region finale, Hayden, Bailey and freshman midfielder Virginia Young scored goals, with Traylor and senior defender Emmy Moore adding assists.

Freshman Abby Payne was in goal throughout the shutout of DC, subbing for injured senior keeper Megan Goodwin (knee).

“It’s thrilling for us to be in the state tournament and we’ve worked very hard to get where we are,” Logsdon said. “The upperclassmen have worked well with our younger players, and I believe we’re playing our best soccer of the season.

“Now, we’re going to have to raise our level of play at state. The key for us will be to keep pushing, never give up, not get our heads down, and just give it our best shot — we want to keep this thing going.”

Marshall County (11-2-2) is paced by sophomore forwards Kelsey Crass (13 goals, 6 assists) and Kallen Fuller (10 goals, 6 assists), along with sophomore midfielder Peyton Lamb (8 goals).

Coach Michael Boone’s Lady Marshals excel at the defensive end, having given up only 13 goals in 15 matches this fall.

Sophomore goalkeeper Perry Parker has surrendered only 12 goals all season, and has posted four shutouts.

In Marshall County’s regular season conquest of Catholic, Crass produced three goals and an assist, Fuller had two goals and two assists, and freshman forward Zoe Maxwell added two goals. Hayden scored an unassisted goal for the Lady Aces.

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