The Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces and Daviess County Lady Panthers have met in every 9th District Tournament final since 2014 but it has been the Lady Panthers that have been the dominant team in recent years as they’d won the last four district titles going into Thursday but the Aces felt the need to snap that streak.
Catholic used goals from two sophomores to take down DC 2-0 for its first 9th District Tournament title since 2015.
“I think we thought we could beat this team,” Catholic coach Andy Hines said. “We forced some shots the first time we played them. We talked about it, we’ve worked on that.”
Hines said his team felt like they had something to prove with what they felt were a couple of snubs when it came to all-district voting.
“We’ve been talking about playing with a chip on our shoulder and I think we did that tonight,” he said.
Maddie Hayden scored the lone goal in the first half as goals were a premium throughout the night.
Late in the game, sophomore Ella Claire Goetz scored off of a pass from Ashton Logsdon to put the game away.
The Aces started the season 0-2 and were outscored 18-3 as they fell to Castle (Ind.) and Reitz (Ind.) to start the season.
Hines said the way they started the season helped them to a title on Thursday.
“We’ve talked about it, we knew going into that it was going to be really, really tough,” he said. “We played a lot of tough teams and even some of the better teams in the state. Greenwood, it was 2-1 with 2:00 and gave up two goals. McCracken County, we fought back and gave up a goal in the last 4:00.”
Catholic keeper Megan Goodwin has been on the squad during their last three losses in district finals to the Panthers as Thursday gave her her fourth shutout of the season and her second of the district tournament.
“She did good tonight,” Hines said. “She didn’t have a lot of shots … I think we kept them out away from us.”
Goodwin said she was ready to get another shot at the Panthers.
“I was really excited because coming out tonight, we obviously lost to them 1-0 in the season, we knew we wanted to go hard and we wanted to try and do our best to win,” she said.
DC didn’t have many shots in the game but Goodwin said that doesn’t mean she can take her focus away from the game.
“I basically just follow the ball and see where my backs are,” he said. “I look in the midfield where everybody’s positioned and keep myself positioned where the ball is so they can’t send one in over.”
DC coach David Sandifer said they had the same problem Thursday as they’ve had most of the year in that their offense has sputtered at times.
“I thought we played pretty well from 18 to 18,” he said. “The first goal we made a mistake trying to clear a ball. Emma made a good save on the first ball and Maddie got up and tapped it in, good play on her part to continue to stick with it.”
He said the Aces came to play.
“Give Catholic credit, they played well, they played hard,” he said. “They earned the win. We didn’t do what it takes to score.”
Both teams now look ahead to next week’s 3rd Region Tournament as Catholic now avoids Ohio County with a win.
Sandifer said he hopes Thursday is a learning moment for his team.
“At this point you’re not changing anything physically,” he said. “I just got through telling them, they can do one of two things. They can accept this and be eh or they can use this at motivation. I think, I hope that they’ll respond in a way and we come out and play well and see what happens. Hopefully, they use it as motivation and go forward.”