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Girls’ soccer improves to 3-0

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By Matt Birkholtz

For the first time this season, the Lady Braves got to show their skills in front of a home crowd, improving their record to 3-0 on the season, with a 1-0 win over Bourbon County Aug. 22.

The win over Bourbon County was their first ever for Grant County and the excitement poured out of the girls as the final seconds wound down and the referee blew her whistle, marking the end of the game.

First-year coach Sarah Boone was proud of the girls getting the win at home.

“Overall, I was really pleased,” she said. “My concern in the first two games, we had come out strong in the second half, but not in the first half. It would take us a while to develop our game. We took it to Bourbon early and scored and held onto the lead.”

Sophomore Mollie Pelfrey scored the only goal for the Lady Braves. Pelfrey credited  Boone for bringing the girls  together this season.

“She doesn’t put up with any crap,” Pelfrey said. “She doesn’t put up with any fighting. If we do fight, she makes us write a paper.”

Boone is complimentary of the style of play by Pelfrey.

“Mollie has so much emotion after the game and I think that helps her and I love it,” Boone said. “She pumps her heart and soul into the game and when she goes on the field she gives everything. She sets a good role model for the girls.”

Junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Tucker notched her first shutout of the season. With her field position, she can view all of the girls the whole game and she is amazed by how they are playing after three games.

“We are making good runs and passes,” she said. “I have never seen these girls play like this. It was beautiful. I feel very confident and I feel the other girls do too. We are working like a family.”

Boone said she hadn’t seen Tucker play before and seeing the effort she has made as the goalkeeper is a credit to Tucker herself.

“She has gone on her own to work with other coaches and trainers to train her,” Boone said. “When we were conditioning during the summer, Mackenzie was doing three practices a day with other coaches and coming to ours worn out, but giving everything she had. She is one of those players that takes it upon herself to get better and prove herself."

Boone said she has worked at getting to know each player.

“I think that my ability to relate to them as a team and individually is for me to put myself into their shoes and see what makes them upset on the field as players; what are they going through personally,” she said. “If I can put myself in their shoes I can understand what they need from me as a coach. I think if I can continue to do that, I can keep reaching them as a coach.”

A change of pace for the girls soccer team is order to, as with the size of the team, Boone is hoping to play varsity before the junior varsity, since most of the players on varsity play both games.

“Most of the varsity players that play junior varsity, if they played that one first, it wouldn’t be a skill builder, it would be wearing us out. That is why we try to flip-flop those games so the ones that are recorded for stats can be done,” she said.

Boone said she likes seeing the younger girls getting to play at a higher level and gaining experience needed down the road. However, with the size of the team, there is no way around it.

Next up for the Lady Braves is a road game against Carroll County Aug. 29.