Coming off a heart-stopping 1-0 upset of Marshall County in the first round of the KHSAA Girls’ State Soccer Tournament on Saturday in Draffenville, upstart Owensboro Catholic will attempt to keep the magic alive on Monday night.
The Lady Aces (10-7) venture down to Bowling Green for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal matchup against 4th Region champion and defending state champion Greenwood (15-2-1) at Drakes Creek Middle School.
“It’s a matter of survival now,” first-year Owensboro Catholic head coach Andy Hines said. “Greenwood is a pretty tough team. Their attacking three are very tough and it’s going to be important for our defensive to be well-organized in this one.
“We’re going to get some opportunities to put a couple (of goals) in there, but Greenwood can be deadly up top so it will take a good team effort defensively for us to have success against a very good team.”
The Lady Aces got just that in Marshall County on Saturday, bottling up the Lady Marshals’ high-scoring forwards and making a goal by Maddie Hayden in the 18th minute hold up the rest of the way.
“We’re a young team that is beginning to embrace the challenges before us,” Hines said. “This team has definitely grown, they’re playing for each other, and they’re hungry for success and playing unafraid.
“We’ve reached a point where we’re getting big efforts from every player on the field, and we’re playing unafraid. We had an aggressive mindset (Saturday) and we need that again against Greenwood.”
The Lady Gators, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over visiting Madisonville-North Hopkins on Saturday, are a balanced squad led by sophomore forward Kayelee Manors (10 goals). On the season, Greenwood surrendered only 17 goals.
Owensboro Catholic is led by sophomore midfielder Maddie Hayden (17 goals, 8 assists) and junior forward Ashton Logsdon (10 goals, 10 assists), whose ability to control the tenor of play at Marshall County proved highly significant.
In goal, the Lady Aces feature freshman Abby Payne, who went the distance for the shutout on Saturday.
Owensboro Catholic and Greenwood met in the regular season on Sept. 29 at OCHS, with the Lady Gators taking a 4-1 decision.
In the first meeting, Greenwood got goals from junior forward Kayleigh Cook, senior defender Sarrah Palmer, senior forward Amaya Salvador, and senior forward Callie Strode, who also had two assists. The Lady Aces’ lone goal was scored by sophomore defender Rachel Traylor.