High School Sports

Girls' soccer: West Jessamine, Lexington Catholic earn tie in playoff atmosphere.

Lexington Catholic keeper Sarah Youkilis (1) poked the ball away from West Jessamine's charging Sarah Wiggins (21) Wednesday evening. Wiggins scored the tying goal of the game just 1:24 into the second half.
Lexington Catholic keeper Sarah Youkilis (1) poked the ball away from West Jessamine's charging Sarah Wiggins (21) Wednesday evening. Wiggins scored the tying goal of the game just 1:24 into the second half. Herald-Leader

NICHOLASVILLE — It's not often that West Jessamine's girls leave the soccer pitch without a victory.

But that was the case Wednesday night as seventh-ranked Lexington Catholic battled the No. 6 Lady Colts to a 1-1 draw.

Sarahs took care of all the scoring — Catholic's Sarah Gorham and West's Sarah Wiggins.

How good has West Jessamine (14-1-1) been in recent years?

Consider that its six seniors — Brooke Perkins, Oliva Welch, Beth Smith, Natalie Traynor, Rachael Craycraft and Cassidy Moore — have lost three regular-season matches in four years.

"This is awesome. I wouldn't want to play with any other group of girls," Smith said as her classmates listened in. "I love my seniors. I love the rest of my team, too. We communicate well. We play well together. And it's not on just the soccer field. It's out of school; it's everything. We're all great friends. ...

"Good teams will beat the teams they're supposed to beat. Tonight, we weren't as lucky, but we'll come out next time and try harder."

West Jessamine, with shutouts in four straight games and five of its last six, found itself in unfamiliar territory at halftime — a 1-0 deficit.

Gorham notched the goal, on a 25-yard rip with 16:48 left.

"I had my back turned, so when (Sarah Jane McCarty) played me the ball, I faced out," said Gorham, who has committed to Western Kentucky University. "There was a defender on my left, and the one on my right wasn't really stepping, so I saw a space in between them. So, I faked one way and then, once my space opened up, I had my shot."

The Lady Colts tied 1:24 into the second half when Wiggins, assisted by Eva Mitchell, came in from the left wing and put a shot just inside the far post.

West Jessamine had plenty of chances down the stretch but couldn't find a way to beat goalkeeper Sarah Youkilis.

"They controlled a lot of the game," said Terry Quigley, coach of the Lady Knights (10-6-1). "If all things were fair, maybe it wouldn't be a tie.

"But we're happy that the girls played it all the way to the end. I think they gained a lot out of this. I'm glad we played this game. I thought West Jessamine was wonderful tonight."

Colts Coach Kevin Wright, who said games like this one "put chills on your neck when you're part of these pressure cookers," agreed.

"We played real well. I thought we played together," Wright said. "I thought we were real organized, our communication was good. We got going forward.

"I thought we really picked it up the second half, just physically. I thought our conditioning and stamina paid off."

Unofficially, West outshot the Knights 17-9. Youkilis came up with seven saves, while counterpart Perkins had four.

"It felt like a playoff game," Quigley said. "I thought the fact that we didn't quit when we were under a lot of pressure was really significant. And Sarah Youkilis came up with a couple of big saves that were spectacular."

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC 1, WEST JESSAMINE 1

Goals — LC: Sarah Gorham; WJ: Sarah Wiggins. Goalkeepers — LC: Sarah Youkilis; WJ: Brooke Perkins. Records — LC: 10-6-1; WJ: 14-1-1.

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