West Carter girls’ soccer (4-5-1) have had a successful start to this season’s campaign under first year head coach Emily Hammond.
The Lady Comets tied Fleming County (6-3-2) to start the season before continuing on to win their All-A 16th Region game against Menifee County, 5-0, on Aug. 31.
“The win over Menifee was a big confidence booster going into playing Bath. Menifee had really improved since the last time we played them, but our girls were ready,” said Hammond.
Kassidy Adams led the Lady Comets, scoring four goals and assisting a fifth in the All-A victory.
“She is a great leader and a great passer. She is just a great team player. She is going to do anything necessary to assure we have a great chance at winning. She really makes things happen on the field,” said Hammond.
She has taken over as the team’s lead scorer having amassed 8 goals and three assists. She has scored in the regular season wins over Menifee, Morgan and Bath County.
The fifth goal in the win over Menifee was scored by Katie Barker. Barker is a junior midfielder and is just behind Adams having scored four goals thus far.
The Lady Comets then faced Bath County for the All-A 16th Region Championship.
“That was our third game that week. We were tired and looking a little rough, but were still able to come out with a 2-0 win. Those games, our girls really played like a team. There was lots of passing and lots of teamwork going on. That is how we were successful,” said Hammond.
They defeated the Lady Cats 2-0 behind goals from Kassidy Adams and Autumn Middleton. Middleton scored the only goal in the All-A sectional loss to Prestonsburg last Saturday.
The low numbered team has continued to strive on grit and determination. They have also had a tremendous amount of help from this season’s goal keeper Riley Madden. Madden has made 137 saves and is averaging 13 saves per game. She has had four complete game shutouts.
“Riley has improved substantially from last season. She has had some individual coaching from some college coaches as well as high school coaches who were keepers,” said Hammond.
“Her team has also helped her with her confidence levels. On top of having so many saves, she has really improved mentally. She is a lot more positive this season and has had a better mentality. Her confidence has improved so much it has helped her physical game.”
Both Adams and Barker were voted part of the All-A 16th Region tournament team. Members of the 2019 All- A 16th Region Tournament team are Haley Wells (Menifee County), Kendra McGuire (Menifee County), Bre Conway (Menifee County), Makayla Hatfield (Bath County), Morgan McNabb (Bath County), Maycee Lyons(Bath County), Selah Bussell (Bath County), Hadley Burchett (West Carter), Kayleigh Rayburn (West Carter) and Barker (West Carter). Adams was voted All-A 16th Region MVP.
The boys’ soccer team also had four members, Hunter Sammons, Garrett Wolfe, Jake Branham and Tristen Moore, voted to the 2019 All-A 16th Region Tournament team. The Comets beat Menifee 1-0 in the first round of the 16th Region All-A tournament, but fell to Bath County in the championship game during a shootout, 2-1.
The Lady Comets continued their All-A tournament play on Saturday in the All-A Sectional game against 15th Region opponent Prestonsburg.
“I am not disappointed at all. I am proud of how hard they worked. I like to think the greatness of a team isn’t reflected in the score. We walked on as winners and we walked off as winners despite the scoreboard,” said Hammond.
The Lady Blackcats took it to the Lady Comets, 11-1. Makayla Ousley scored five goals, Anna Burchett scored four and Elizabeth Burchett scored two goals.
Anna Burchett has led the Lady Blackcats to an impressive record of 12-1-0. She is leading the state in goals scored having scored 59 goals and assisted 12 with just shy of month of the regular season remaining.
“Prestonsburg is a really great team. Anytime you have multiple players on a team that can make shots in the upper 90 from halfway to the midfield, they are going to be a tough team to beat. Most of their shots were that far out and it was just instant. I was just proud of our girls for making it that far and being a team that was competitive,” said Hammond.
The Lady Comets continued their regular season games Monday night against Mason County and played 16th Region opponent Boyd County on Tuesday night.
They return to action next Monday, Sept. 23 against Morgan County.