By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
Check off another goal in what has been another great soccer season.
The Newport Central Catholic Lady Breds won the All “A” Classic State championship on Sunday with a 2-0 win over the Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces in Elizabethtown. This marked the first crown since winning the tournament three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007.
The Lady Breds recorded two sound victories on Saturday to make it to the title game. They beat Pikeville, 10-0 before knocking off Bardstown Bethlehem in the semifinals, 5-2.
“They are doing a great job of communicating with one another,” said Kevin Turnick, NewCath Head Coach. “They’re doing a great job of staying with their marks and not allowing (opponents) time or space to turn. If (opponents) do have the ball, they are right there so they don’t have an opportunity to pass it off. They did a fantastic job all weekend.”
NewCath moved to 11-1-2 with the win. The lone loss for the Lady Breds came 1-0 on Aug. 26 at Ryle.
This marked the second tournament win of the season for NewCath. The Lady Breds won the Ashland Invitational Tournament a few weeks ago.
Defense has been a long-time priority for NewCath. The Lady Breds outscored the three opponents, 17-2.
NewCath ran a 4-4-2 (defender-midfielder-forward) set with a 4-5-1 look at one point. Owensboro Catholic (13-2-2) ran a 4-3-3.
“Owensboro did a good job of keeping possession,” Turnick said. “In the first 40 minutes, we didn’t play very smart and very effective. We did more chasing. When we won the ball, we didn’t keep possession very well. At halftime, we made adjustments. Owensboro Catholic liked to play with the ball out of the back quite a bit. We let them do what they wanted back there. We just marked the middle and shut down the passing lanes. That helped out tremendously calming our kids down at halftime.”
NewCath freshman forward Taylor Tolle earned Most Valuable Player honors with a sensational tournament. Tolle scored six goals in the tournament with at least one per game. Tolle’s goal against Owensboro Catholic came in the second half to make the final score.
Tolle had a hat trick against Bethlehem with three goals. Tolle and Chandler Cain led NewCath with two scores each against Pikeville.
Junior Loren Zimmerman scored one goal per game for a total of three goals. Her marker in the first half gave NewCath the only goal it needed in the championship game.
Ruthie Barth, Sam Bunzel, Ansley Davenport and Meg Martin joined Tolle on the All-Tournament team. Bunzel surpassed 2007 NewCath graduate Stephanie Burns and 2009 graduate Andrea Macke for the most assists in school history with her 25th against Bethlehem. Goalkeeper Martin recorded two saves against the Lady Aces.
The game marked the third time NewCath and Owensboro Catholic met for a championship since 2010. The Thoroughbreds beat the Aces, 42-0 in the Class 2A state football championship in 2010 and the Lady Aces beat the Thoroughbreds in the All “A” basketball championship in Frankfort, 52-42 this past winter. Zimmerman, Davenport, Mikayla Seibert and Michela Ware played on that basketball team.
Owensboro Catholic landed three players on the all-tournament team. They were Sara Haleman, Brooke Logsdon and Anna Belle Moore.
NewCath gets back to work today. The Lady Breds travel across I-471 to face the 36th District rival Highlands Bluebirds.
“We’ve got a pretty tough week ahead of us,” Turnick said. “I think playing Highlands after those wins will continue to motivate us. We’ll learn more about ourselves these next two games seeing how we stack up against two of the perennial (state) powers in girls soccer. We have to continue to keep playing smart and stay healthy.”
They then battle the defending 9th Region champion and state runner-up Notre Dame Pandas on Thursday in Park Hills. That game starts at 5:15 p.m.