Lady Panthers strong first half pushes them past Owensboro

October 4, 2022 | 12:04 am

Updated October 4, 2022 | 1:07 am

Photo by Gage Johnson

Daviess County’s early offense was the deciding factor on Monday, shutting out the Lady Devils en route to a 2-0 victory to secure their spot in the 9th District Championship on Wednesday.

Both teams began the game battling for possession, with the Lady Panthers taking an advantage eary by winning the ball in the midfield. However, it wasn’t until the 22nd minute that someone was able to put one on the board.

Owensboro senior keeper Chandler Worth was nearly able to save the shot, but mass chaos right in front of her in the box senior Brooke Schwartz was able to sink it and take a 1-0 lead for Daviess County. A little luck let the Lady Panthers find goal number two as the Lady Devils tried to clear the ball, but ended up finding the feet of junior Jasey Stearsman who tapped it in to make it 2-0 in the 28th minute.

Daviess County continued to create chances for them throughout the half, but got called offsides a number of times and went into halftime with a 2-0 lead. The Lady Panthers continued to mistime their runs in bunches coming out of halftime, something that kept the game at 2-0 going into the 55th minute.

They were never able to break through for a third goal, but defensively Daviess County was able to stifle the Lady Devils by holding them scoreless in a 2-0 win that cemented their spot in the 3rd Region Tournament and 9th District Championship. While they didn’t play to the best of their abilities, senior Reagan Chinn said that the win is a big confidence booster for the Lady Panthers going forward.

“We could’ve played better, but I think we’re feeling pretty confident,” Chinn said. “We’ve just come off of three really tough games and with a win after that, we’re looking pretty hopeful.”

After falling to Owensboro Catholic 4-2 early in the season, Daviess County nearly defeated them the second time around in a tough 4-3 loss in which the Lady Aces scored two goals in the final ten minutes. With plenty of experience against them this season, Chinn feels as though they know what they can do to come away victorious in the 9th District Championship at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

“We’ve got to play hard,” Pittinger said. “They’ve got certain players that we just need to mark and we know how to beat their defense now, [so we have to take advantage of that].”

Meanwhile, Owensboro falls to 7-11 overall as their season comes to a close. Despite the final score, Head Coach Michael Lovett was thrilled with how his team’s defense played in the match.

“I thought we played about as well of a game as we possibly could,” Lovett said. “We gave up those two first half goals unfortunately. I asked them to play a certain type of way tonight and they absolutely came through with an outstanding defensive performance.”

Lovett has been especially proud of the way his team battled this year, noting that they faced a barrage of challenges throughout the year. The Lady Devils never lost their heart despite plenty of hardships throughout the 2022 season, something Lovett is proud of.

“I don’t know another team in this area that has had to face as much adversity as we have,” Lovett said. “Not just with the thin numbers, but our injuries early on and missing out on some games and limited practices. It took its toll on us in the middle of the season and we had a losing streak because of it.”

One of those kids that has gone to battle for Owensboro for years was Worth, who closed out an impressive high school career with 30 saves in the game. 

“Four years of greatness,” Lovett said. “If we don’t have Chandler, we’re a different team during the last four years. Plain and simple. Not just her athleticism and goalkeeping [are big], but the things that she does off the field for the team.”

Lovett tipped his cap to her following the game, stating that she has meant everything to the program with the countless hard work and sacrifices she has made over the last four years.

“Four years of greatness,” Lovett said. “If we don’t have Chandler, we’re a different team during the last four years. Plain and simple. Not just her athleticism and goalkeeping [are big], but the things that she does off the field for the team.”

Lovett said Worth was more comfortable being a leader without the titles, something that not every player relishes in. If the Lady Devils can learn from her play and apply it to their growth over the offseason, Lovett and Owensboro will have even more players that can make an impact on the program like Worth did going into next season.

“She is so humble,” Lovett said. “She has worked her butt off and sacrificed more in the four years that I’ve been here than any other player on and off the field. She has meant everything to this program.”

October 4, 2022 | 12:04 am

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