Daviess County played just its second game of the season Tuesday, but had no trouble cruising to a district win against Apollo.
The Lady Panthers scored off of a header in the first few minutes of the game and never looked back as they took down the E-gals 8-0.
DC coach David Sandifer said he was impressed with his team’s performance after its long layoff, as they started the season back on Sept. 10 with a 1-1 draw with Central Hardin.
“They work hard,” he said. “This is a hard-working group. Our first game against Central Hardin, we finished playing the last 26:00 with 10 kids because of a red card and they really worked their butts off. In the first half tonight, they did an outstanding job. They really work hard. Second half we fell off a little bit.”
Junior Steeley Walker scored the first goal on a header that was played in from a corner kick. Walker added three more goals on the night.
Avery McNeily was also a big scorer for the Lady Panthers, as she finished with a hat trick and two assists. Brooke Schwartz added a goal while Mackenzie Sweat chipped in three assists. Emma Patterson had three saves in the shutout.
Sandifer said Walker has a lot of skill and pairs well with the other leaders on the team.
“Mackenzie is basically a non-stop motor and does so much,” he said. “Avery McNeily is a really accomplished goal scorer. If you’ve got those three working well, we’re going to be pretty successful.”
The Lady Panthers have had a culture of success for a while but Sandifer said it hasn’t come without hard work from top to bottom.
“We encourage them to go to Sportstutor for skills training, we encourage them to play club soccer,” he said. “By and large, most of them do. A lot of these girls are experienced club players and their club coaches do a good job with them.”
He said when players buy in, it makes the entire process easier.
“It’s a community effort and that’s the way you perpetuate a program,” he said. “These kids, they come in as middle schoolers and play for our middle school program and they get used to what we want. … I’m not saying we’re going to go out there and win every game because we won’t but they’re going to give it their best shot.”
Daviess County’s schedule doesn’t get any easier as they face Henderson County, Barren County and Calloway County in their next three games.
Sandifer said it’s all about preparing for the postseason.
“We want tough games,” he said. “That’s how you grow. You don’t grow by not playing tough games.”
Apollo falls to 1-2 on the season, and they hit the pitch Saturday morning at Meade County.
Daviess County 8, Apollo 0
DCHS (1-0-1) 8
AHS (1-2) 0
Goals: DCHS: Steeley Walker (4), Avery McNeily (3), Brooke Schwartz (1)
Assists: DCHS: McNeily (2 assists), Mackenzie Sweat (3 assists)