BY MATTHEW SPARKS
FOR THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
FLATWOODS Russell is already reaping the benefits of a grueling early schedule.
The Lady Devils produced what coach John Perry called “the most complete win we have had this season so far” in a 6-1 district win over Boyd County on their home field on Thursday night.
All six Russell goals were assisted. Perry said chemistry is one of his team’s strong points.
“They play well with each other,” Perry said. “A lot of these girls play together in the summer and the spring. They are very comfortable with each other on the field and they communicate well. We work on that a lot in practice.”
Junior Kynidee Allen cashed in on her opportunities, recording a hat trick to bring her season goal total to 10.
Allen produced her first goal on Taylor Stamper’s through ball near the end of the first half. Callen Johnson tallied an early score to give Russell a 2-0 advantage at halftime.
The passing became contagious in the final 40 minutes.
Johnson booted the ball ahead in the 49th minute that Allen chased down and sent past the keeper to increase Russell’s cushion.
Stamper knocked it in the net off Georgia Arrington’s corner kick later in the second half.
Stamper tickled the twine again a few minutes later after Abby Keeton sent a cross into the box.
Arrington found Allen again behind the defense and the forward hit the back of the net for a third and final time with 11 minutes remaining in the match.
“She is very effective, especially when we are in our offensive third,” Perry said. “She is the player that all of our midfielders look for. She is very dynamic with the ball. We expect a lot from her when she gets the ball. She probably thinks we are hard on her at times, but she has a lot of skill and potential.”
Russell improved to 3-4. The Lady Devils have competed against several high-caliber teams in the first two weeks of the season. Perry prefers it that way.
“We do that purposefully,” Perry said. “We schedule tougher teams. I made the schedule myself this year so I tried to schedule tougher teams before we got into districts to try and prepare us. You take your lumps. We played Tates Creek and George Rogers Clark. They are probably two of the best teams in the state. We took some beatings. It is obvious that we have learned for them.”
Boyd County (3-2-2) have had its struggles against Russell.
The Lady Lions have scored just four goals in their last 15 meetings against their district foe. Ashton Hieronimus prevented the shutout with a late goal in the 65th minute.
Boyd County coach Jason Rosen feels his team is progressing.
“Hands down, Russell is a fun team to watch,” Rosen said.
“They do things the right way.
When you are up against that, it’s tough to beat. We did a lot of good things tonight. We still have a lot of things we need to work on. I think we are started to close the gap. We beat Ashland for the first time in a while. Hopefully, we can learn from this and move on.”
Russell starts district seeding play at 1-0. Boyd County drops to 1-1.