High School Sports

High school girls' soccer: Henry Clay overcomes mistakes, outduels Lafayette 2-0

Lafayette frustrated Henry Clay time and again Wednesday night.

In the end, though, Lafayette had the bigger taste of frustration as 14th-ranked Henry Clay beat the visiting Generals 2-0 in girls' soccer play.

"We made a lot of mistakes," said winning coach Mebit Aragaw, whose team outshot the Generals 21-4. "We've had about seven days off. We came out flat. We're lucky to win this game. Lafayette played great. Give them credit."

Emma Ueland assisted on the first goal and scored the second as the Blue Devils (6-3-3) won for the fourth time in five matches.

Kristina Ralenkotter scored first, and Ally Barfield needed to make only two saves to post the shutout.

Henry Clay led 1-0 at halftime, the lone goal coming 7:37 into the match.

Ueland sent a pass from just inside the 18 to the right edge of the goal box, where Ralenkotter knocked a sharp-angle shot off the far post and into the net.

The Blue Devils had a couple of other great chances. Lafayette goalkeeper Kate Heinonen turned aside a point-blank shot by Ralenkotter, and Lauren Higgins banged a shot off the crossbar.

"We have a top keeper, especially as a sophomore. She's progressing great," said Bryson Perry, coach of the Generals (7-7). "So we're really happy with our keeper, and our defense is improving every game. We're just trying to work hard towards post-season."

Heinonen came up big in the second half, too, finishing with 12 saves. She stopped Lauren Duffy on a breakaway about 10 minutes in and punched Duffy's header up and over the goal with just under 16 minutes left to keep the score 1-0.

"It was getting very frustrating," Ueland said. "But you just have to keep your head up and your team spurs you on."

That attitude paid off with 9:02 left, when Ueland softly arced a 10-yard shot from straight out over Heinonen's outstretched arms and into the goal.

"Lots of staying after practice and working on those," Ueland said. "Lindsey (Elsen) made a great run, and I couldn't have done it without her. ... It was a great ball. I'm just glad I could finish."

Now, both teams aim to finish strong.

"It's the time you want to get better, but we didn't show it tonight," Aragaw said. "We made a lot of mistakes on the finishing and even the midfield. We've got a lot of work to do; hopefully get better the next few weeks before districts start."

Both teams play next in Saturday's Tates Creek Shootout, with Henry Clay facing Murray and Lafayette taking on Campbell County.

"We do OK against the top teams and then we struggle when we shouldn't," Perry said. "Hopefully we'll have our 'A' game coming into post-season."

Henry Clay 2, Lafayette 0

Goals—HC: Kristina Ralenkotter, Emma Ueland. Goalkeepers—L: Kate Heinonen; HC: Ally Barfield. Records—L: 7-7; HC: 6-3-3.

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