Summer work pays off for West Jessamine

A foundation is built brick by brick, and Coach Kevin Wright takes that notion quite literally when it comes to his team.

Wright's third-ranked West Jessamine spent weeks this summer and this season running up hills with bricks in hand, trying to prepare for this moment: a 1-0 27th District championship win over No. 4 Lexington Catholic.

"We've always run with bricks, and we used to drag tires and push vehicles," said Wright, who did the latter two when he coached boys. "We don't push vehicles anymore cause that's too dangerous.

"It gives you that extra boost, that charge, and sometimes that's all it takes in soccer is that extra step."

Sophomore Arin Gilliland seemed to have that extra step Thursday night at Lexington Christian.

She got her motivation from a heap of bricks as the then-scoreless game wound down.

"Coach Wright says if we're running uphill with bricks, we'll be running downhill all game," Gilliland said. "That's what we think about when we're out here."

She didn't appear weighted down at all as she zoomed up the field, received a beautiful pass from midfielder Sydney Sisler and tipped it into the goal with five minutes left in the game.

"I just took off, and Sydney played it straight down the middle, and I knew the goalkeeper would come out, so I decided to chip it in instead of taking her on," Gilliland said.

Coach Terry Quigley's club had just missed on a corner kick scoring chance moments before.

"That happens in soccer when everyone pushes up, and we got caught up too far," he said. "And, of course, Gilliland will burn you every time with that."

But Quigley couldn't complain about the Knights' effort.

"I'm so happy with our second-half play," Quigley said. "I was really proud of them. There was just that one breakdown at the end."

Both Catholic and West Jessamine move on to the 14th Region Tournament next week, which the Colts earned the right to host. It is possible the two top-five teams will see each other again.

But for one night, the Colts wanted to celebrate their district title.

"All of the seniors deserve a district championship, so I was happy," Gilliland said. "I was so glad for them."

Henry Clay wins 26th

Henry Clay 3, Sayre 1: Olivia Max, Ginny Hoyt and Lauren Kluemper all scored goals, and the Devils defeated Sayre to win the 26th District girls' soccer title.

Cassie Ransdell assisted on two of the three goals, and Henry Clay goalkeeper Kayla Price won tournament MVP honors after saving nine of 10 Sayre shots.

West Jessamine 1, Lexington Catholic 0

Goals—WJ: Arin Gilliland. Goalkeepers—WJ: Michelle Sutherland; LC: Courtney Thomerson.

Records—West Jessamine 15-1-3, Lexington Catholic 13-4-2.

Henry Clay 3, Sayre 1

Goals—HC: Olivia Max, Ginny Hoyt, Lauren Kluemper; S: Sally Henkel. Goalkeepers—HC: Kayla Price; S: Lauren Albert.

Records—West Jessamine 15-1-3, Lexington Catholic 13-4-2.