Daviess County used a strong push in the second half to come away with a 5-4 victory over Ohio County on senior night for the Lady Panthers’ soccer team.
Daviess County (5-4-2, 3-2 District 9) used a hat trick by Kenlee Newcom and scored on four set pieces to earn the win. Seniors Lainey Armistead, Gracie Kemplin, Harlee Rone, Bobbi Sandifer and Reagan Watkins were honored before the game.
The Lady Panthers largely controlled possession in the first half but trailed 3-2 at the break. They scored the first three goals in the second frame and were able to fend off a late attack by the Lady Eagles.
Sandifer said the team had to make adjustments during the break to sway the game in their favor.
“We had a talk before the second half and changed our attitude towards the game,” she said. “We had to pick it up because they were playing hard.”
DCHS used heavy pressure early but couldn’t convert a handful of shots, and it was Ohio County that got the first goal in the 22nd minute when they punched in a rebound of a deflected shot.
Newcom scored her first goal 10 minutes later when she sent one in just over the goalkeeper on a direct kick from a few feet beyond the box. The Lady Eagles only needed 30 seconds to regain the lead, again off a follow-up from a missed shot.
Ohio County scored again with some fancy footwork just in front of the net, but Sandifer cut the deficit to 3-2 when she converted on a penalty kick after a handball in the box.
“Our set pieces, specifically PKs, we have really strong girls who can score,” Sandifer said. “We’re versatile.”
The Lady Panthers evened the score 10 minutes into the second half with a penalty kick by Hinchcliffe, with the assist going to Rone after she was fouled in the box. Newcom gave her team the lead with their fourth score from a set piece when Lauren Fuqua was fouled — only this time Newcom was beyond 30 yards out when she sent a direct kick curving over everyone into the top left corner.
Newcom finished off the scoring for the Lady Panthers with 17 minutes to go when she tapped in a pass from Kayla Vanover. Ohio County added another goal with 2 minutes left, but DCHS was able to run out the clock for the win.
Hinchcliffe said the team played well in the second half, but going forward they need to play like that from start to finish. They can’t afford to let their opponent gain momentum.
“When other people pick up their intensity, we notice we have to pick it up and excel even more,” she said. “We need to work as a team as we go forward. What we do best is pass and move, but when we get out of that, it’s usually when we get down.”
Sandifer agreed, but said the biggest challenge is being in the right state of mind.
“Our possession has to be 100 percent,” she said. “Our attitude has to be 100 percent. We all have to be in the game mentally. Physically, we’re there, but we have to wrap our heads around the game.”
The Lady Panthers play again today when they travel across town to take on Apollo (5-5, 1-4) at 7 p.m.