It is probably the most important of all the Notre Dame Pandas soccer traditions.
Before the current players were born, the Pandas (1-0) have been masters of the ball-possession game. They force opponents to defend them chasing them all over the field most of the game and wear them down.
In their first game of the season against the Bishop Brossart Lady ‘Stangs (1-1), they recorded 12 shots on goal to one for the hosts. The teams entered halftime scoreless. But ultimately, the Pandas found the back of the net a couple times in a 2-0 victory at the Mustang Athletic Complex.
“We challenged them at halftime. We know we’re the better team going into many of our games,” said Suli Kayed, Notre Dame head coach. “We hope to score sooner going forward. The longer you let teams stick around, the tougher it gets. We have some things to work on.”
Notre Dame has won 11 in a row in a streak that started in last year’s state championship run. The unblemished streak reached 30 games with a 29-0-1 record where the Pandas have outscored opponents, 120-4.
Senior goalkeeper Lauren Gooderson kept the Lady ‘Stangs in the game recording 10 saves. Neither goal came on five Pandas corner kicks.
“I’m so proud of our girls,” said Andy Smith, Bishop Brossart Head Coach. “Our defense did well to hold them to no goals in the first half and just two in the second half. (The Pandas) had the ball 90 percent of the game.”
On the other side, Notre Dame junior goalkeeper Hannah Renaker only had to make one save, which came in the second half. The Lady ‘Stangs had no corner kicks.
“We’re really good at connecting in the back. It’s super important because it gives us opportunities to get it up the field,” said Evie Meyer, Notre Dame senior defender. “We just have a great back four. I love working with them. We’re good now. But we’re going to be great soon.
In particular, seniors Ellie Greenwell and Abby Unkraut, a University of Georgia commit, drew a lot of attention from the Bishop Brossart defense. Greenwell did find her senior cousin Ava Summe in the second half for the only goal the Pandas needed to win the game.
“I felt like (Brossart) was really packing in the defense so I definitely had to move away from the defenders,” Summe said. “It definitely involved a lot of movement. (Greenwell) was able to slip one through to me and I was able to tap it to the back side of the net. It was a great goal.”
Unkraut did put up a quick shot just 20 seconds into the second half that hit off the top bar. But with 16:29 left in the game, Unkraut burned several defenders and scored giving the Pandas some breathing room.
Both teams return to action Saturday. Notre Dame plays host to Cooper (1-0) in a 9th Region battle at Noon and Brossart plays host to Simon Kenton (1-1) at 10:30 a.m.
Simon Kenton 3, Walton-Verona 0
The host Lady Pioneers (1-1) bounced back from the tough 5-0 loss at South Oldham on Monday with a huge 32nd District win over the Bearcats (1-1).
Simon Kenton outshot Walton-Verona, 15-2. Senior goalkeeper Payton Kenny made seven saves for the Bearcats and senior goalkeeper Olivia York made two for the Lady Pioneers.
Junior defender/forward Cam Ruble had two goals for Simon Kenton with freshman forward Ella Smith scoring the other one. Freshman midfielder Meg Gadzala and freshman forward Reece Johnson had the assists.
Simon Kenton senior defender Ellie Mulcahy has played in this rivalry game a couple times over the years. She agreed it is important to play with emotion, but not get emotional and to convey that to the younger players.
“It’s hard because our opponent is good,” Mulcahy said. “They’re working hard. We all have to really work together to make sure that we’re tight and get it up the field. Just play your game and it will all work out.”
Some things the Lady Pioneers wanted to do better were control the midfield and move better on defense. Simon Kenton Head Coach Hillary Johnson credited the likes of seniors Margatet Roberts, Sophie Decker and freshman Jada Johnson for leading the way there.
“It took us a while to settle in. But once we did, that’s when we really started to see our possession evolve and our attack really happen the way we planned for it to happen,” Johnson said. “It was a good step in the right direction. We still have a lot of things to work on. But I have a lot of faith that this team will hunker down and get to work on the things that we need to.”
Both teams play again Saturday. Simon Kenton goes to Bishop Brossart (1-1) for a 10:30 a.m. and Walton-Verona plays host to Anderson County (1-0) for a 7:30 p.m. game.
Campbell County 2, Lafayette 1
The Camels (1-0) opened with a win over the Generals (0-2) to open the Fayette County Spectacular at Henry Clay on kicks from the mark.
Both teams had seven shots on goal. Sophomore forward/midfielder Jozie Holmes scored the only Camels goal in regulation. Senior goalkeeper Morgan Rawe had seven saves plus the two on kicks from the mark.
Campbell County won kicks from the mark, 5-4. Senior forward Ruby Dunlevy, senior forward/midfielder Ambria Poynter, junior forward/midfielder Valerie Stephens, Holmes then senior midfielder Isabella Menetrey hit their kicks for the Camels.
Campbell County returns to Lexington on Thursday to take on Bardstown Bethlehem (1-0) at Frederick Douglass to conclude Group B round-robin play at 8 p.m. The winner faces Dixie Heights (2-0) on Saturday at 9 a.m.
St. Henry 5, Beechwood 2
The Crusaders (1-0) won their first game on the new turf outshooting the Tigers (0-2), 11-10 in the All “A” 9th Region Tournament.
St. Henry senior and Ohio State commit Mandy Schlueter scored three goals and senior Lani Keipert scored the other two. The Crusaders take on Holy Cross (2-0) on Monday in the All “A” 9th Region semifinals at 5:45 p.m.
Sophomore Rose Smith and freshman Ruby Fries scored the goals for Beechwood and sophomore Kate Young had an assist. Senior Lynden Noll had five saves for the Tigers.
The next game on the schedule for Beechwood is Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. against Ludlow (1-0).
Ryle 5, Newport Central Catholic 2
The Lady Raiders (1-1) jumped ahead and never looked back in a home win over the Thoroughbreds (1-1).
Junior Gracie Carrigan scored two goals for Ryle with Kenzie Hitch, Kathleen Iasillo and Cassie Gripshover scoring one each. Iasillo, Gripshover and senior Lilly Vest had one assist each. Meleah Lehmkuhl made six saves with Kendall McGarvey and Sarah Harasymchuk making four and three saves respectively for the Lady Raiders.
Senior forward Karly Enginger had both NewCath goals for her sixth and seventh on the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Haigis had eight saves.
NewCath plays host to Assumption (1-0) on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Ryle plays host to Notre Dame (1-0) on Monday at 8 p.m.
Villa Madonna 10, Dayton 0
The Vikings (1-1) took down the host Lady Devils (0-2) for its first win of the season.
Senior forward/midfielder Brooklyn Pickens led the way scoring four goals and tallying two assists for 10 points for Villa Madonna. Freshman Macy Gumm had three assists and two goals for eight points and senior defender/midfielder Maddie Timm had one goal and one assist for eight points.
Villa travels to Grant County (0-1) on Saturday for a 10:30 a.m. game. Dayton plays host to Holmes (0-1) on Monday at 6 p.m.
Holy Cross 10, Holmes 0
The Indians (2-0) earned the 35th District road win over the Lady Bulldogs (0-1). It ended with about 14 minutes left in the second half as a result of the goal-ruling.
Senior midfielder Elizabeth McCoy and sophomore forward/midfielder Leah Donnelon scored two goals each. Junior midfielders Addy Saalfeld, Jenna Saalfeld, Aubrey Bornhorn, junior defender Bella Saalfeld, junior forward/midfielder Ivy Hoffman and senior forward/midfielder Rylee Veneman scored one each.
Holy Cross next plays host St. Henry (1-0) in the All “A” 9th Region semifinals on Monday at 5:45 p.m. Holmes plays host to Frankfort Christian on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Scott at Grant County canceled
The Lady Eagles (1-0) had a game canceled because of weather that did not stretch into Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties. They travel to Boone County (1-0) on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Newport Central Catholic 2, Simon Kenton 0
After lightning postponed the game Tuesday, the teams met back and Independence and concluded the season-opener for both teams.
NewCath outshot Simon Kenton, 12-7. Junior midfielder Ryan Desmond scored both goals for the Thoroughbreds. Simon Kenton freshman goalkeeper Miles Mullen made 10 saves and NewCath senior goalkeeper Ryan Mullen had five.
Both teams play again Thursday. NewCath travels to Walton-Verona (0-0-1) for a 7:30 p.m. game and Simon Kenton plays host to Cooper at 8 p.m.
St. Henry Wins All “A” 9th Region Crown
The Crusaders won the crown at Boone Links Golf Course in Florence for the second year in a row shooting a 363.
Junior Brooklyn Callioni led the way shooting a personal-best 83. Juniors Lexi McMillin and Molly Brue also shot personal bests at 86 and 91. Callioni said St. Henry Head Coach Mary Beimesch would take the team to Top Golf if they got below 400.
“At the beginning, we all had our own goals – our team goals and our own personal goals,” Callioni said. “I think it was a really good day to play. It wasn’t too hot. Everyone played the best they could.”
Sophomore Carly Apgar finished the scoring shooting 103 for St. Henry. Senior Allyson Egan also played for the Crusaders shooting 107.
“They went after it big-time,” Beimesch said. “That made a huge difference for their confidence level. They were staying out of trouble and just getting the job done. Our goal is to improve every tournament, every match. They worked hard and it showed.”
Beechwood took runner-up honors shooting 444. But freshman Maya Gelhoff and sophomore Delaney Adams qualified for the state tournament shooting 104 and 106 respectively. But freshman Ellie Stamm is going in place of Gelhoff to the state tournament.