Henry Clay’s girls’ soccer team improved to 2-0 in 42nd District play with a 5-0 win over Sayre at home on Tuesday night.
Ruby Kate Gray, Kayla Lavender, Clara McKinley, Ellie Phillips and Sara Ueland all scored goals for Henry Clay. Morgan Patton, a sophomore, was in goal for the Blue Devils.
Entering the season, Coach Mebit Aragaw wasn’t sure what his team would look like. About midway through the 2016 campaign, Henry Clay (6-1) is ranked fifth in the Maher Rankings and its upperclassmen are showing the kind of leadership Aragaw thinks can help them make a deep run.
“The girls are so positive,” Aragaw said in a phone interview. “All they want to do is just work hard and stay positive. ‘There’s no time to complain. Let’s just work hard, have fun and go home.’ Those are the girls. It makes everything easier for you as a coach.”
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Aragaw was quick to credit Sayre’s effort despite the lopsided final score. He was especially impressed by the athleticism and quickness of keeper Dee Dee Wheeler, a junior who also stars on the girls’ basketball team.
“(She’s) a great goalkeeper,” Aragaw said. “She saved a lot of goals tonight.”
Sayre (5-3-1) dropped its third game in four outings after starting the season 4-0-1 and winning the Smoky Mountain Cup. The Spartans are in the midst of a four-game road trip; the last two stops are at Cooper (Sept. 10) and Scott County (Sept. 12).
The Blue Devils’ lone loss was to No. 4 Boyle County in the Fayette County Spectacular on Aug. 20. They’ll host Father Ryan (Tenn.) and Lafayette in the coming days before a three-game road trip which includes stops at No. 10 Woodford County (Sept. 14) and No. 16 Lexington Catholic (Sept. 26).
Those matchups sandwich a stop at Bryan Station on Sept. 20. Henry Clay would lock up the top seed in the 42nd District with a win over the Defenders.
“Those are the main games for us, the district games,” Aragaw said. “At one point, you learn the regular season is just going to prepare you for the postseason, but at the same time you want to get the good seeding at the end.”