The Somerset Lady Jumpers notched a hard-fought 1-0 win over arch-rival Pulaski County last night at Clark Field, but it certainly could have came at a very high price.
Somerset's Audrey Anderson scored the lone goal of the contest with 8:46 remaining in the opening half of play, but she went down moments later with an injury and never returned to the lineup.
Still, even without its leading scorer who came into the game with 23 of Somerset's 33 goals scored on the year, the Lady Jumpers would be able to blank PC to sweep the two games over the Lady Maroons in the regular season.
Despite winning and seeing his club move to 6-3-1 on the year with the victory, Somerset head coach Steve Watkins -- not wanting to speculate on the severity of Anderson's injury -- did admit that without its leading scorer, his team certainly will take on a different look and will have a whole new identity.
"I will say that Audrey Anderson is easily the most special player that Somerset's seen in a long time and that this community has seen in a long time," remarked the Somerset head coach immediately following the game.
"You absolutely hate to see a player like that not able to be on the field and to be able to contribute," Watkins added. "With Audrey stepping off, my team's going to have a different identity. There's no question about it. I thought my girls responded well after she went down with the injury. The thing that I was confident in tonight was that I've got one heck of a defense. My back is extremely organized and athletic and very composed. I mean we've got Jocelyn May back there who is a fantastic defender. Then, we've got a senior on the left in Kate Ison, and on the right with Macy Dye, and then I've got two girls sitting on the sideline that I can bring in with very little drop off in Lilli Burton, and McKenzie Clouse who played a lot tonight. Then, I've got Samantha Wesley in the middle of the field, who I think tonight just dominated her space tonight."
Indeed, both defenses dominated play from the outset in a very low-scoring affair between these two 47th District rivals.
After Anderson's goal and subsequent injury, shots on goal came at a premium for much of the remainder of the contest for both clubs.
Pulaski County head coach Vince Frantz, who saw his team lose earlier in the season to Somerset by a 5-1 margin, pointed out afterwards that his club executed the game plan on the defensive side of the field to perfection.
Now, the critical part for the Lady Maroons is to begin to work on the offensive side, and try and find some different ways to punch the ball into the net.
"I hate that Audrey went down tonight, because we want to play them when they are at full strength," pointed out coach Frantz. "I thought they were playing very well with her in the game, and it's just very disappointing that it (injury) happened."
"We have gotten better, and think it's obvious we're a much better team than we were at the beginning of the year," added the PC head coach. "Moving forward, I want to focus on creating more offensive opportunities. Tonight was a very heavy defensive focus on our part, but we want to focus on putting some balls in the back of the net."
Somerset will return to action next Monday to face Casey County, while Pulaski County meanwhile will host the Lady Rebels next Tuesday at PC Field at 6 p.m.