For the second straight year, the Wildkat soccer season ended at home with a loss to Laurel in the state semi-final Saturday.
The Kats’ usually prolific offense was kept in check as Laurel picked up a 3-1 win to advance to its sixth consecutive state title game.
“Our plan was to let them play at us and cover some passing lanes in the middle of the field and make them play out on the flank. It worked to a certain degree, they are just a team that can be super dangerous offensively,” Wildkat head coach Thomas Clark said. “There were a lot of 50/50 opportunities with tackles this team usually makes and they just didn’t go our way. Honestly, if the ball bounces the other way just a few more times then we could have walked away with the win.”
The Kats put the ball in the net early in the game on a set play, but the goal was disallowed. Laurel seemed to take command after that as Allison Shovar scored at 17:00 and Gracey Willis added another goal at 30:00 to give the Locomotives at 2-0 halftime lead.
Cheyanne Johnston-Heinz scored on a mad scramble off a corner kick at 36:00 to cut the lead to one, but Laurel’s Mya Maack put the game out of reach for the Kats when she scored at 75:00.
“Our goal was to win a state championship, so there is a collective feeling of disappointment,” Clark said. “To let one day that didn’t go our way change how we view this season, that would not be fair to these girls. We had one of the best seasons in school history and I could not be prouder of them.”