Mallory Shake and Maddie Covey scored as No. 3 Tates Creek shut out Dunbar 2-0 Thursday in the Fayette County Soccer Spectacular at Henry Clay.
In the opening match, Chesney Sipple scored twice to give Madison Southern a 2-1 victory over Clark County.
All four teams are now 1-1 in round-robin play.
"We played really tough," Tates Creek Coach Bo Lankster said. "We were tough in the back and our girls, we, were clean in terms of hitting balls out when we were under pressure. Our forwards were very, very active tonight and created a lot of problems for their defense. ... And we haven't seen the ball go in the back of the net early on this year too much, and to get a goal in the first half I think really kind of helped our team quite a bit."
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Tates Creek led 1-0 at halftime.
The Commodores' score came off a long free kick. Shake beat the keeper to a bounding ball, then had an open net for a tap-in with 15½ minutes left before intermission.
Shake credited Haley Poynter for playing the free kick, "and I was just there at the right time to finish it."
Making matters worse for Dunbar, fleet-footed forward Mimi Floreal went down in the final seconds of the half, pulling her right hamstring. She would not return to action.
That took away from the Bulldogs' second-half attack.
"It did a little bit," Coach Tom Morgan said. "But I was proud of the girls that stepped up at the beginning of the second half and really tried to push and get that equalizer. But ultimately we didn't have enough in our tank to catch up to them."
Creek came oh-so-close to a second goal about 10 minutes into the second half. In rapid fashion, Jordan Chlebowy and Shake each put a shot off the post.
The Commodores did strike again with about 13:45 left. That's when Covey buried a 15-yard shot into the back of the net.
"We had to replace basically seven starters from last year's team and these girls have kind of been living in their shadows a bit. And they've embraced it. They want to prove that they can play Tates Creek soccer and do it well. That's what they did tonight. They stepped out on the field and they played with confidence and they played together."
A big part of the win was controlling the midfield, led by Chlebowy.
"We haven't had a great start to the season, but we've started to play more together," Chlebowy said. "I think we're starting to play more as a team.
"We're just determined to keep working hard and keep working together as a team, and keep improving our game."
In the first game, Sipple opened the scoring in the 24th minute, breaking into the right side of the penalty box and beating the goalie with a hard, crossing shot.
Clark County nearly tied with 9:10 left in the half, but Shannon Ramey's shot hit off the far post, and her rebound attempt sailed wide.
Sipple made it 2-0 about two minutes into the second half, knocking in a bounding ball from the straight-on edge of the goal box.
"I knew we were going to come out and win," Sipple said. "Because we are awesome. We work really well together."
The key, Sipple said, was passing.
"Our defense did really well with getting it to the middle, and the middle getting it back up to the forwards and us scoring."
Clark County got on the board with about 10:45 left.
Haley Hannan threaded a pass to Brooke Abner, who converted to make it a one-goal match.
That was all for the Cardinals, though.
"I think it was a little sloppier than I would have liked," said Katy Cress, coach of the Eagles. "But I like that we were able to find the back of the net. That's something we weren't able to do Tuesday night against Dunbar. We had opportunities, we just couldn't finish the other night. So we were able to do that.
"We're trying to use our depth as well. We have a lot of players, so hopefully keeping everybody fresher is helping us out as well."
The Soccer Spectacular wraps up Saturday with round-robin play in the morning and afternoon. Finals are set for 7 p.m.