Hoptown Lady Tigers Rally Past Lady Blazers for District Top Seed

It was something the seniors on the Hopkinsville girls’ soccer team had never experienced. The Lady Tigers used a furious second-half rally Saturday afternoon to come from behind and defeat the University Heights Academy Lady Blazers 3-2, picking up their first win over the Lady Blazers since the district championship game of 2015 and locking up the top seed in this year’s district tournament.

The match was a story of two halves, with UHA controlling the first half and Hopkinsville controlling the second.

The Lady Blazers got on the board first in the match. After a foul on Hopkinsville in the box, Addi Fourqurean put the penalty kick into the net to give UHA a 1-0 lead at the 10:30 mark.

UHA extended the lead just seven minutes later when Riley Bailey rebounded a miss from Addi Fourqurean and put it into the goal to push the Lady Blazer lead out to 2-0. That would be the score more than 20 minutes later when the two teams went into the break.

UHA outshot Hopkinsville in the opening half 5-2. The Lady Blazer defense, led by Piper Hancock and Ava Colburn was able to turn back the Hopkinsville attack for most of the half, not allowing the Lady Tigers to get good looks at shot opportunities.

The second half turned out to be a reversal in fortunes. The Hopkinsville Lady Tigers made some formation adjustments coming out of the break, and those adjustments paid big dividends.

Just 1:30 into the second half Anna Hernandez took the rebound of a missed shot in a traffic jam in front of the goal and somehow steered it into the net to put the Lady Tigers on the board at 2-1.

As UHA had controlled play during the first half, it was all Hopkinsville in the second half. The Lady Tigers kept the Lady Blazers moving back toward their own goal and did not allow UHA to generate the attacking opportunities they had in the opening 40 minutes. The Lady Tigers would end up outshooting UHA in the second half 13-2.

The attacking pressure paid off again at the 70:50 mark when Grasen Givens took a pass and drilled the shot to even the score at 2-2.

Less than three minutes later, the Lady Tigers got to the lead. Abby Moss took a direct kick just outside the right front corner off the box and sailed it just off the fingertips of MacKenzie Young as Hopkinsville took a 3-2 lead at 73:30.

The Lady Tigers kept applying the pressure, not allowing the Lady Blazers any good looks at opportunities to tie the match over the final 6 1/2-minutes.

In addition to their offensive attack, the Lady Tiger defense gave a big effort in keeping the Lady Blazers away from the goal over the final 40 minutes. Daniella Uribe was among the defenders stepping up for Hoptown coming down the stretch.

Hopkinsville improves to 6-4-1 overall and 3-0 in district play. The Lady Tigers will be the top seed in the 8th District tournament.

UHA drops to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the 8th District.

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