Lady Cardinals live up to expectations, finish season as 13th Region champs while reaching Elite Eight 

LONDON — Lora Rison’s South Laurel Lady Cardinals had a target on their backs as the team to beat this season. 

However, the pressure didn’t faze them as they not only won 14 games but also won the 13th Region championship and made it to the Elite Eight of the state tournament.

Rison expressed her satisfaction with the team’s performance, especially the way they responded after Tess Little’s injury.

The team rallied around goalkeeper Shelby Gambrel and embraced the challenges they knew they would face throughout the season. 

“Our goal this season was to be Region Champs,” Rison said. “We played some harder teams throughout the season to try to prepare for tournament time. All of the wins and losses allowed us to grow and adjust to meet that goal. 

“All of our players stepped up this season, Kenzie and Kylie did a great job as center backs,” she added. “Gracie Hoskins was our number two scorer. Morgan Taylor was a versatile player throughout the season, playing in several positions. Halle Reams, Trinity Rogers helped in starting positions, and Shelby Gambrel in goal.”

Rison also gave credit to her seniors, who were 

exceptional leaders on and off the field. 

“Brook Clontz and Megan Smith helped anchor our defense, while Josie Gill, Ella Rison, and Avery Sauer helped control the mid,” she said. 

Rison said next season will be a bit of a rebuild but the cupboard isn’t bare at South Laurel.

“We have plenty of remaining talent and some upcoming players that will be able to contribute to some great play,” she said. “It will prove to be another exciting season of soccer. 

“This team is special and they made this season a memorable one,” Rison added. “Their hard work and dedication to each other made them one of the best teams coming out of South.”