Tates Creek had to go through a bit of reorganization in the past week.
After star center midfielder Megan Poage went down with a knee injury Tuesday, Commodores Coach Bo Lankster had his doubts, his questions.
How would his team respond?
Would the offense be as prolific without her? Would the defense be able to communicate effectively and hold up?
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Lankster got his answers early and often in Creek's 4-1 victory over Anderson County in the championship game of the ihigh.com Fayette County Frenzy at Henry Clay on Saturday night.
It was the third straight time the Commodores have won the tournament.
"The more games we play well without (Poage), the more confidence we'll gain," Lankster said. "But make no mistake, we're not going to be the same team without her."
Senior midfielder and tournament Most Valuable Player Alyssa Kruse didn't leave Lankster wondering about how his team would continue to respond for long.
A little more than four minutes into the game, Kruse streaked down the right side of the field and Jessica Carter connected with her to put the Commodores on the board 1-0.
Eleven minutes later, it was Katie Workman accepting a beautiful pass from Meredith Chinn and tapping it into the back of the goal to make it 2-0, which it remained until the half.
It wasn't for a lack of trying, though. The Commodores (4-0) took 10 shots on goal in the first half and held the Bearcats without a shot on frame. The Creek goals were the first given up this season by Anderson County (3-1).
"We put on a bit of a scoring show," Lankster said. "But really it was our defense that won this tournament for us. The girls back there were really, really strong."
The Bearcats got their first shot on goal 46 minutes into the game and kept it from being a shutout with 15 minutes to go on Hannah Pritchert's zinger from 25 yards out.
For the game, the Commodores outshot Anderson County 13-5.
Tates Creek 4, Anderson Co. 1
Goals—TC: Alyssa Kruse, Katie Workman, Madison Smith, Jessica Carter; AC: Hannah Pritchert. Goalkeepers—TC: Arly Lankster, Sarah Dixon; AC: Emily Mager.
Records—Tates Creek 4-0, Anderson County 3-1.
Male 2, Manual 1 (shootout): Bitter city rivals played until the bitter end in the boys' game, which the No. 2 Bulldogs won deep into penalty kicks.
No. 9 Manual led much of the game before Male freshman midfielder Kaleb Bayse scored with 10 minutes to play to tie the Crimsons, who scored on Joey Cheadle's made shot.
The PKs went 10 players deep for each team before junior Richard Ballard's shot clanked off the top post and gave the Bulldogs (4-0) the tournament championship. Manual topped Male in the title game the year before.
Male 2, Manual 1 (shootout)
Goals—Man: Joey Cheadle; Male: Kaleb Bayse.
Goalkeepers—Man: Ian Johnson; Male: John Seewer.
Penalty kicks—Male: Conor O'Neill (goal); Dylan Terry (goal); Jason Marshall (goal); Dominique Zimmerman (goal); Kollin Nava (goal). Manual: Mark Waterman (goal); Asa Miller (goal); Joey Cheadle (goal); Adam Pierce (goal); John Claypool (goal); Trent Dunn (goal); Ian Johnson (goal); Branden Dejean (goal); Connor Gonzalez (goal); Richard Ballard (off post).
Records—Male 4-0, Manual 3-1.