The two regular-season girls soccer match-ups between Somerset and Pulaski County both went into overtime shootouts. However, in the 47th District Tournament championship game, on Sunday, Somerset ended this game in regulation with a 3-0 victory.
The game was right on pace to maybe go into another showdown outside regulation when Somerset clung onto a slim 1-0 lead at the halftime break. But two quick goals by the Lady Jumpers in the first seven minutes of the second half gave Somerset a commanding 3-0 lead en route to their third straight district crown.
Five minutes into the second half, Somerset freshman Jolie May set up a corner kick into the box that was touched by junior Jayley Melton before freshman Kate Bruner put the ball into the back of the net.
One minute later, Kate Bruner transitioned the ball from near midfield to senior Tatyana Brown, who drove the ball deep into the box and scored on a one-on-one past Pulaski County freshman keeper Audrey Jasper. From that point on, the Lady Jumpers kept the Pulaski County offense at bay to close out their district championship win.
"I felt like in the first half, Pulaski County controlled the ball 20 minutes, and we controlled the other 20 minutes," Somerset High School girls soccer coach Steve Watkins stated. "We played someone that didn't have to play a game yesterday, and it was going to take every ounce of energy that we had left."
"I was nervous because (Pulaski) is a club that can score goals, they've got talented players and are coached well," Watkins added. "I knew 1-0 was not going to do it. The fact that those two (second half) goals went in early and quick, took the wind out of (Pulaski's) sails, and we were able to kind of battle through it. It wasn't pretty down to the end, but to win championships sometimes you got to do the nitty gritty stuff."
In the opening half, Somerset got on the board in the 10th minute when senior Millie Moore scored from the top of the box after receiving a pass from Jolie May.
Later in the opening half, Pulaski County got off shot attempts from Bailee Franklin, Maddie Sexton, and Camille Powell. However, all three Lady Maroons attempts failed to find the back of the net.
"In the second half, we slid some players in the midfield for a little more speed," Watkins explained. "When got people like Kendall (Burgess) up top with speed and Tatyana (Brown) just scores her goals off her tenacity. I was proud of all the girls, and it was a good day for Somerset soccer."
Somerset (12-6-1) and Pulaski County (10-9-1) will both advance to the 12th Region Tournament, to be played next week in Nicholasville.
Local players named to the 47th District All-Season Team were Pulaski County's Bailee Franklin, Ashlynn Pennington, Anna Morgan, and Maddie Sexton; and Somerset's Jocelyn May, Olivia Stevens, Samantha Wesley and Milli Moore.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.