As they have throughout the season, the Todd County Central girls’ soccer team leaned on its defense on Thursday to hold off Russellville 2-1 and claim a second-straight 13th-District title.
The Lady Rebels and Lady Panthers split a pair of penalty kick shootout victories during the regular season, but Todd Central was on the board inside the opening three minutes when Jaidyn Holland found the back of the net with a shot from the right side of the 18-yard box.
With the Russellville attack bottled up, the Lady Rebels doubled their advantage when Melanie Chamberlaine’s 25-yard shot looped in over the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead with 14:30 left in the half.
However, with a steady rain leading to slippery conditions, a tame shot slipped under Todd Central goalkeeper Darby Delph to trim the lead to a goal at halftime.
The late goal invigorated Russellville, and the Lady Panthers pressured the Lady Rebels over the first 20 minutes of the second half. Delph was quick off her line for a sliding save before making a stop on a long free kick from Raigan Fuston with just under 12 minutes to play.
Each team had one good scoring chance in the final minutes, with Todd Central’s Ava Scott firing over the bar and Russellville’s Ja’eda Poindexter dragging her shot wide after getting behind the Lady Rebel defense.
Russellville, making its first appearance in the 13th-District final, slipped to 10-6 with its fourth one-goal defeat.
The Lady Rebels improved to 9-7-1 ahead of next week’s 4th-Region tournament. Chamberlaine’s goal was the 20th of her senior campaign.