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Spring Hill 4, Louisburg 2

SPRING HILL – The Louisburg girls soccer team had been unstoppable going into Wednesday’s road match with Spring Hill.

Louisburg won its first four matches to start the season and did so by outscoring its opponents by 19 goals. The Wildcats were on cruise control, but came up against a talented Spring Hill squad that tested them in every facet of the game.

Although the Wildcats took an early lead, and were in a tie match late in the contest, the Broncos used two late goals to give Louisburg its first defeat of the season in a 4-2 loss at Spring Hill High School.

“I thought our girls played their tails off,” Louisburg coach Kyle Conley said. “We played with a massive amount of energy and played really hard. Spring Hill is a quality team. In fact, they one of the best teams we will face all year. Not only were they very skilled, but they had speed a lot of positions. The game gave us a lot to work on and things for us to improve on. I am proud of how we competed.”

The Wildcats (4-1) got on the board first when junior Mackenzie Scholtz received a through ball from teammate Trinity Moore. Scholtz then beat the Bronco defense and placed the shot in the back of the net to give Louisburg a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

Spring Hill tied it up with three minutes remaining before halftime and then carried that momentum into the second half when it scored two minutes in off a corner kick to take a 2-1 advantage.

With 25 minutes left in the match, the Wildcats evened the score when junior Erin Lemke beat the Spring Hill goalie to the ball near the top of the box and then put away an empty-netter.

The Broncos, however, put the game away in the final minutes. Spring Hill took the lead on a goal with six minutes remaining and then added another four minutes later to all but seal the win.

Spring Hill controlled the possession at times and the Wildcat defense was able to turn away several Bronco scoring attempts and goalie Carson Buffington had some big saves. It was a match that was closer than the score indicated and Conley was pleased with the effort his team showed.

“This team has a massive amount of team chemistry,” he said. “They are extremely competitive and play for each other. The girls play hard start to finish. I was so excited with our fight and not backing down. We talked about the quote, ‘Bend, don’t break.’ Regardless if something negative or positive happens stay level headed and keep competing. The girls did just that. We made a few mistakes that Spring Hill capitalized on. We will work to clean those up and get better at practice.”

Their four-game winning streak may have gone away, but the Wildcats accomplished a lot during that stretch and it started with their defense.

Louisburg shut out each of its four opponents thanks to the back five of Kaitlyn Lewer, Camdyn Clark, Madison Quinn, Avery O’Meara and Hallie Hutsell, along with the efforts of Buffington.

“The defense was absolutely lights out so far to start our season,” Conley said. “Even against Spring Hill, I think we defended well and gave them shots from distance. We did a nice job of executing our game plan. The first four games we were extremely impressive. The defense and goalkeepers had 356 minutes and 4 seconds of shutout soccer. That’s incredible. I am extremely happy with our defensive core and their improvement each and every day.”

Offensively, the Wildcats also got good production from Scholtz and she was on a goal-scoring tear during that stretch. Scholtz scored 13 goals in her first four matches and currently has 14 for the season.

“Mac has been on fire for us the first five games,” Conley said. “It will be hard to imagine anyone in the state having that many goals so far this season. She is absolutely on fire. To make that stat even more impressive, she has been limited in minutes because the games were so lopsided. She is off to a terrific start and is going to have a great year.”

The Wildcats will try and get back on the winning track Tuesday when it hosts Eudora. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the Wildcat Sports Complex.