Lady Tigers control Hopkins Co. Central 3-1

BRYCE RUDD/ Times Leader photo

Caldwell County sophomore Hadlee Hall battles against Hopkins County Central Tuesday at Butler Stadium in a win.

In their fourth straight home game at Butler Stadium, the Lady Tigers (7-4-2) pulled away convincingly with a 3-1 triumph over Hopkins County Central on Tuesday night in a District 7 game to become the No. 2 seed in next months tournament.

Abbey Hagan came through with the first goal of the night, and Kaylee McEnaney scored both of her goals in the second half in Princeton to send the Lady Storm to an 0-2 district record.

The Lady Storm (7-4) came in preferring a high-paced contest, and much of that has been thanks to Kaitlyn Cavanaugh (11 goals and six assists through 10 games) and Priya Holmes (six goals), but both were completely shut down by the defense of Kelsie Adams, Laken White and Maggie Ginn of the Lady Tigers.

Caldwell County hasn't lost since September 3 when Fort Campbell beat them 1-0.

"You know, we absolutely controlled the pace because we controlled the ball," Caldwell head coach Rhett Miller said. "Seventy-five percent of the possession was ours. We kept the midfield the entire time and part of that actually hurt us, because we had it at midfield so much and they backed six up against our forwards."

"That caused us problems and then our forwards started to move a little bit better. We got three goals in and got a win. We'll become second in the district, which doesn't matter because we will still play them, but we got a win. We're 6-4-2 right now, which is a great midseason record. We're looking forward to seeing what will happen against Fort Campbell."

The Lady Tigers lead the all-time series with the Hopkins County Central Lady Storm (29-3-0).

The Caldwell County attack was knocking on the door early and often, playing into their offensive third from the starting gun. The Lady Storm wouldn't cross midfield until 10 minutes in.

Morgan McDaniels had a one-on-one look early, and after struggling for possession in their last two matches, Hagan made it 1-0 Caldwell County in the 15th.

A strong start proved fruitful, as Caldwell controlled the field, and the majority of the game.

Adams had a big game defensively, and showed her versatility with a few looks near the 23rd minute. Caldwell County took advantage of several Hopkins County Central substitutions, nearly making it 2-0 in the 30th, but McEnaney couldn't bunt home the rebound from just outside the goal.

The 1-0 Lady Tiger lead would hold going into halftime, as goalie Karsyn Parker (eight saves) negated the near equalizer from Cavanaugh in the 38th.

The physicality grew immensely in the early moments of the second half, as Parker had to make another save in the 52nd to preserve the one-goal lead.

Lady Storm freshman Lily Melton struck from the left side moments later to tie at 1-1 in the 53rd before the Caldwell defense could adjust.

In the nick of time, McEnaney came right back a minute later in the 55th to draw the goalie out of the box on a fast break and regain the lead for good at 2-1 for the Lady Tigers.

McDaniels nearly finished an assist from Kendall Boyd in the 70th, but McEnaney had the insurance punch on her second goal in the 77th after Hannah Young helped her break away for a 3-1 lead.

The Lady Tigers have not lost a home match during this five-game swing, with three wins and two ties.

"Our defense, it's a combination of Kelsie, Laken and Maggie. You've got to give Laken some credit in the defense because she's dropping back with them, but the three of those have held our defensive backs in there," Miller added on the performance. "Let's face it, we're hard to score on. I don't care what team it is, we're still hard to score on. Hopkinsville is a good team and they came in and didn't give us much. And I'll tell you what we've really done a good job of; we've shut down a single dimension team. That team has a really good player in Kaitlyn Cavanaugh and she was worthless. I know she had a couple of shots, but she didn't have any quality shots, and that's what we want to do."

The Lady Tigers wrapped up their five-game home stand on Thursday with a convincing 5-0 shutout win at Butler Stadium against Fort Campbell in the rematch from September 3.

In a complete team effort, the Lady Tigers won their second straight game and their fourth in their last six tries, with no losses in their last six games.

Caldwell County got goals from Lucy Goffinet (scoring twice), Morgan McDaniels, Hannah Young and Kendall Boyd.

Karsyn Parker collected 12 keeper saves as the Lady Tigers got two corner kicks.

Caldwell County scored 17 minutes in, making it 1-0 on Hannah Young's goal.

The Lady Tigers climbed to 2-0 three minutes later and scored twice more in the 30th and 36th minute to take a 4-0 command at halftime. Caldwell would receive one more insurance goal in the 49th minute with Goffinet's second goal.

Kaylee McEnaney kept threading the needle for the Lady Tigers, finishing with three assists on the five goals scored.

Caldwell County heads to Christian County for a big weekend in a Saturday Tournament at the Colonel Showcase (Seeing Logan County, Murray High and potentially another team) before hosting the Lady Colonels on Tuesday at Butler Stadium at 7:30 p.m.