Lady Tigers get revenge

Tyler Dixon | Kentucky New Era

Hopkinsville's Sarah Johnston (right) and Christian County's Megan (17) go for a ball during the Lady Tigers' 7-0 win Tuesday at the Stadium of Champions.

It's been an emotional couple of days for Hopkinsville girls' soccer coach Jeff Addison.

On Monday, the Lady Tigers beat Lyon 9-0 for the 224th career win of Addison's coaching career, which puts him at ninth in KHSAA girls' soccer history. Then after the game, he received a call that his grandfather had died.

"It's been tough," he said. "The girls fully supported me. They kind of played for me. They knew it was coming."

The Lady Tigers got revenge for last year's season-ending loss to the Christian County Lady Colonels and did their best to pay their respects to Addison's late grandfather in their 7-0 win Tuesday at the Stadium of Champions.

Along with their victory over their crosstown rival, the Lady Tigers have now not given up a goal in five-straight matches as the Hoptown defense and Vy Nguyen have kept opponents from scoring for the last 400 minutes.

Addison said it's been a long road to get the defense where it is, but they're clicking now.

"I had to talk them into playing that way," he said. "It's finally coming around and working. I've told them and told them, it's worked for years; just stick with it and keep it going. We're going to get there. It's finally working. I'm excited for that."

While the midfield and defense got the job done Tuesday, it was the offense that got the momentum going early as Keeli Miles continued her stellar play and scored in the first few minutes of the game to give Hoptown the only lead it would need in the contest.

Miles finished with five goals and now has 10 goals in her last two games after she also scored five times in Monday's win over Lyon County.

The senior captain said she knew she needed to step up when the Lady Tigers lost Ana Hernandez to injury, and Miles admitted she felt some pressure.

"Honestly, yes," she said. "It was more of 'oh no, what am I going to do without Ana?' That's because we call ourselves the 'Money Team' and I lost part of my 'Money Team' but now Makayla (Marshall) stepped up, and now she's my partner."

Makayla Marshall also scored Tuesday, her second varsity goal for the

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Lady Tigers. Abby Moss finished with three assists and a goal in the victory for Hoptown.

Addison said it's been great to see Miles, Sarah Johnston and the other experienced players step up.

"We're extremely blessed to have those players," he said. "I'm extremely excited for both of them (Miles and Johnston). I know Sarah's going to play well against Christian County because she played there. Keeli has played phenomenally, and I'm so happy for her. She's able to score goals, and it's kind of a monkey off her back."

While the forwards have been putting the ball in the back of the net, the bread and butter of the Lady Tigers has been the play of Nguyen and the rest of the defense.

For Nguyen, she's just excited to be playing the sport she loves.

"I feel accomplished," she said. "This is my first official year of playing in the goal and I just feel really accomplished in what I've done."

Miles and Nguyen were both key members of the team a year ago when the Lady Tigers fell to Christian County in penalty kicks during the 8th District tournament.

Both of them said they wanted revenge.

Nguyen said she had a simple mindset going into the game.

"Just save all the balls and don't let any in," she said. "Last year in districts, that shouldn't have happened and it feels good to come back."

Miles echoed that sentiment.

"We wanted to prove what we didn't get to prove last year," she said. "It was really a redemption night. We wanted to show what we had."

Hopkinsville (7-6) plays at noon Saturday against Murray in the Colonel Showcase at the Stadium of Champions while Christian County (3-6) play at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at McCracken County.

Hopkinsville 7, Christian County 0

HHS 3 4 -- 7

CCHS 0 0 -- 0

HHS: Keeli Miles (5 goals, assist), Makayla Marshall (goal), Abby Moss (goal, 3 assists), Sarah Johnston (2 assists), Grasen Givens (assist)

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