Having allowed just 13 goals in 20 games this season, it’s safe to say East Carter has played some stellar defense in 2013.
The Lady Raiders are getting the hang of defending district titles, too.
East Carter shut out Greenup County, 10-0, to earn its second straight 62nd District crown and third consecutive district championship overall. The Lady Raiders took the 22nd District in 2011.
East Carter coach Ryan Knipp said he’d put his five defenders against anybody in the 16th Region. The group includes Amber Hall, Kaylee Limings, Taylor Burnett, Mandy Langstaff and Callie Moore.
“It takes a lot of pressure off the offense when they know the defense has their back like that,” Knipp said.
East Carter (16-3-1) enjoyed another sizzling start offensively, racking up five unanswered goals by the midway point of the first half.
Ashleigh McDowell tapped in the first goal, Alexa Sturgill rolled in the second, Macy Dyer lined in the third, Sturgill roped in the fourth and Taylor Burnett sneaked a penalty kick just inside the left post to give the Lady Raiders a 5-0 lead.
Knipp was elated with the hot start.
“In the last six or seven games, we’ve come out and really set the tone early,” Knipp said. “That’s what we had trouble with early in the season — getting started. We’ve really come together here lately.”
East Carter cooled off a bit until the second half, but the defense stayed stingy even with some of its reserves in.
Greenup County’s Kayla Leadingham came very close to putting the Lady Musketeers on the board, but Bethany Tolliver stepped in front to deflect the shot. Leadingham just missed an attempt a few minutes later, too.
Dyer, Megan Stickler, Burnett, McDowell and Moore accounted for the second-half goals to give East Carter a win via mercy rule.
McDowell, Dyer, Burnett and Sturgill each finished with two goals.
Seven Lady Raiders have at least nine goals for the season. Dyer leads the way with 35.
“It’s spread out,” Knipp said. “There’s not really one person that does all the scoring.”
Knipp said East Carter’s seven seniors have provided the extra push down the stretch. The Lady Raiders head into the postseason having lost just one game since Sept. 7, a 4-3 defeat at the collective hands of talented South Laurel.
The seniors, Knipp said, remember the success it experienced two seasons ago when East Carter won a region title. The Lady Raiders fell to Ashland in the region championship a year ago.
“This group of seniors, they have the most wins in school history,” Knipp said. “They have a little unfinished business. They want to finish off with a region championship.”
Both East Carter and Greenup County (6-8-1) will take part in next week’s 16th Region Tournament.
Macy Dyer (East Carter), Taylor Burnett (East Carter), Ashleigh McDowell (East Carter), Alexa Sturgill (East Carter), Olivia Ball (Greenup County), Lakin Redmond (Greenup County), Sarah Kibbey (Greenup County), Tabitha Holbrook (Elliott County), Kiana Maynard (Elliott County), Gabby Bond (West Carter), Tesla Henderson (West Carter).