Lexington Catholic’s quick-strike ability and a new threat up front powered the Lady Knights to a 4-1 win over Paul Laurence Dunbar Thursday night in the 43rd District title game.
Freshman Maggie Corbett, who was just recently moved to forward to play alongside junior standout Kennedy Tranter, scored two goals and set up another as the Lady Knights secured their third straight district crown.
“She’s really stepped up,” her older sister, senior defender Cassie Corbett, said of Maggie. “I think she’s helped us a lot to control the ball on the opposite side of the half. … (She) and Kennedy have been working really well together and creating a lot of scoring opportunities, which we’ve needed.”
The Lady Knights started quickly with a goal when Abby Van Hoeve volleyed a cross into the box past Dunbar keeper Morgan Turcotte just inside the near post.
About 10 minutes later, Maggie Corbett received a beautiful ball from Caroline Hourigan, took a touch onto it and hammered a left-footed shot over a diving Turcotte.
Dunbar made things interesting briefly in the second half when Baylee Lanter struck from more than 30 yards out on a ball that looped over Catholic keeper Liz Thompson. Dunbar had worked the ball near the box, but couldn’t get a shot away till it fell into Lanter’s stride. The score cut the Catholic lead to 2-1 with 30:23 left in the game.
But the Lady Knights answered immediately, again off the foot of Maggie Corbett.
“Adding Maggie to the forwards has really helped us create a lot of space in the forwards and helped us move the ball, giving Kennedy someone that she can run and play off of,” Hourigan, a senior defender, said.
Maggie Corbett had been playing as a center back most of the season, but after a few tries higher up the formation, Coach Terry Quigley soon realized he had an opportunity. He credited senior Kasey Neuer for sacrificing her role as a central midfielder to cover Maggie’s old spot.
“I think she’s come into her role and is comfortable up there naturally,” Neuer said.
Maggie Corbett got another breakaway in the game’s final minutes, firing a shot that Turcotte slapped wide, but the ball found an onrushing Tranter for the game’s final margin.