After pulling off a furious rally ignited by University of Kentucky signee Kennedy Tranter, the Lexington Catholic girls’ soccer team is headed back to the state tournament for the third year in a row.
Maggie Corbett’s goal with 1:33 left in overtime gave the Knights a 3-2 win over Tates Creek in the 11th Region Championship at Henry Clay on Saturday.
“I’m really speechless about this win, it kind of crept up on me,” said Lexington Catholic Coach Terry Quigley. “I’m sure when we were down 2-0 the girls probably thought the game was over, because it’s hard to dig out of a hole like that against a great team. But they didn’t quit, and this is gonna be something that they’ll always remember.”
With 16 minutes to play, Lexington Catholic’s hopes for a third straight region title looked dead in the water. Tates Creek forward Shae Robertson had just nailed her second highlight-reel goal of the game, a free kick from the bottom corner of the box that she bent into the upper left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead. Commodores goalkeeper Jenna Shalash had been a brick wall all night, corralling at least 10 saves through 65-plus minutes.
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But Catholic immediately pushed the tempo and attacked. The Knights finally broke through with 14 minutes to play.
After an indirect kick foul was called on Shalash for obstruction, Tranter lined up at the top of the box. Tori McLaughlin ran up and tapped the ball, then Tranter fired a low shot through the Commodores’ defense and into the bottom right of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1.
“That shot was just typical of Kennedy, she just knows how to get in the goal when we need it,” said Quigley. “And then to come through with that assist on the second goal, that’s what she does. She’s just been terrific all four years.”
LexCath spent much of the next 12 minutes on Tates Creek’s side of the field probing the defense. Then Tranter dribbled into the corner, stopped and fired a high pass into the box. Abby Van Hoeve knifed toward the goal and bounced a header into the bottom left of the net to tie the game as the Knights’ fan section erupted.
Corbett’s overtime goal not only sent Lexington Catholic back to the state tournament, it saved the sophomore midfielder some money. Before the game, Corbett made a bet with Tranter about which of them would score. Since they both scored, the bet was “canceled out,” she said with a laugh.
“I got nervous when I saw the ball come toward me, but I just went after it. When I saw it go in I was like ‘Oh God, I don’t know what I just did,’ but then it hit me and we all went crazy,” said Corbett.
The Knights will begin their pursuit of a third straight state finals berth when they host the 9th Region champion in the first round on Tuesday night.