The LHS Girls Varsity team hosted their annual Invitational tournament on Saturday. The Lady Tigers won their varsity invitational tournament in exciting fashion by winning their opening match 3-0 over Warren Central and overcoming Lafayette Central Catholic 4-3 in a PK shootout in the second game to claim the title over Lafayette Central Catholic. In the first match, the Lady Tigers opened their tournament playing the Warren Central Warriors winning 3-0 with all goals coming in the 2nd half. The Lady Tigers and Lady Warriors defended each other fairly evenly for the first half with neither side creating many clear cut chances. Play was predominantly between both teams’ 18 and at half it was level at 0-0.
As the second half began, the Lady Tigers started on their front foot and opened the scoring with some quick and incisive combination play down the middle of the field that culminated in a first-time scoring strike from sophomore Madison Maher just inside the 18 with captain Lilly Haines providing the assist. The Lady Tigers would register 2 more goals both from junior Kirstin Byrd. Freshman Summer Stogsdill provided one of the assists with the other goal coming from clever combination play among the 3 central players of Lilly Haines, Kirstin Byrd and Madison Maher. Maher would find Byrd on a properly weighted through ball that Byrd finely finished past the Lady Warriors GK. The Lady Tigers would prove defensively rigid for the remainder of the game and protected a consecutive clean sheet for senior GK, Alyssa Downs. Coach Hyatt would like to credit junior Kirstin Byrd with her brace, Madison Maher with a goal and assist and GK Alyssa Downs with impressive performances. In the championship game of the varsity invitational, the Lady Tigers battled Lafayette Central Catholic. The previous season, the Lady Tigers lost a tough and unlucky invitational opener to the the Lady Knights of Lafayette 0-1 off a controversial non offside ruling that allowed the game’s only goal. The Lady Tigers entered the game with confidence from the previous match and would ride that confidence despite conceding the game’s first goal from an unlucky OG deflection from a corner kick. The Lady Tigers would respond in the 29th minute with another composed finish from junior Kirstin Byrd assisted by Captain Lilly Haines. At halftime the game was level at 1-1. Within the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half, Kirstin Byrd would push the Lady Tigers ahead with her second goal assisted with a fine through ball from sophomore Madison Maher. The Lady Tigers attempted to protect their lead but ultimately conceded a goal with under 15 minutes in regular time. The Lady Tigers would create a few more scoring opportunities before the end of regular time but it was freshman Jessica Lehmkuhler who made a game-saving challenge inside the 18th where the Lady Knights earned a corner kick that was cleared away as then time expired with the match level at 2-2. Both coaches were relieved for the tournament rules of going straight to the PK shootout as the heat and humidity wore intensely on both teams that battled fairly evenly the entire match. The Lady Tigers would prove victorious in the shootout winning 4-3 with senior captain Lizzie Hart putting the game away with a calmly and composed finish from the spot in the left corner. The Lady Tigers converted 4 of their 5 shots with Lilly Haines, Laura Lemen, Kirstin Byrd and Lizzie Hart converting.
Coach Hyatt would like to acknowledge the fine performance of the Lady Knights as they pushed the Lady Tigers to the very brink.
Coach Hyatt would also like to credit Kirstin Byrd with consecutive braces, Lizzie Hart with fine defensive play and leadership all game and freshman defender Jessica Lehmkuhler who provided defensive stability and fine tackling the entire 2nd half.