Persistent Knights prevail

If at first you don't succeed, try and try and try and try again.

It was something Chelsea Smith had to keep reminding herself Saturday night.

The Lexington Catholic junior had watched one of her shots go wide left, another wide right, another roll into the arms of the goalkeeper and another clank off the side post.

"I felt so annoyed with myself because we were playing so hard as a team and I wasn't finishing," Smith said.

But with 10 minutes left to play at Catholic, one finally got through for the forward. It stood up and the sixth-ranked Knights topped No. 14 Lexington Christian 1-0.

"It was such a relief," Smith said of her shot, which came on a misstep by the LCA defense in its attempt to clear the ball.

Smith's goal was a relief for Catholic Coach Terry Quigley, too.

"She didn't quit," Quigley said of Smith. "That's the key thing about Chelsea is that in the game she was missing shots, but she didn't put her head down. ... She had the forward's attitude that next time it's going to work."

While Smith was feeling better, Catholic's defense was feeling the pressure. After her go-ahead goal, the Knights' players had to hold off a hard charge by the Eagles.

A Maddie Boone direct kick with 5:24 to go in the game was as close as LCA would get, though. It deflected off of a Knights defender and away from the goal.

That was Christian's only shot on goal against a veteran Catholic defense, which recorded its third shutout of the season. For the game, the Knights outshot Christian 8-1.

"Our keeper joked that she didn't want to touch the ball tonight, so that was our goal," senior Renee Rogers said.

LCA Coach James Jaeger said it would only take some minor adjustments for his team to find the goal.

"We need to hit the through ball a little bit quicker," he said. "We tend to hold it a little bit too long."

Jaeger wasn't disheartened by the loss.

The Eagles, who had started the season with five wins and a tie, were coming off a disappointing 3-0 loss to Boyle County.

He wasn't sure how his team would respond, but he got his answer Saturday night against Lexington Catholic.

"We showed we can hang with them," Jaeger said. "We just had a bad clearance in the back and they happened to capitalize on it. We feel good about this one."

Lexington Catholic 1Lexington Christian 0

Goal—Chelsea Smith. Goalkeepers—LCA: Myranda Powers; LC: Courtney Thomerson, Ciara Thomas.

Records—Catholic 5-2-1, Christian 5-2-1..