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When North Hardin hosts LaRue County on Sept. 8, it’s a safe bet the Lady Trojans will do a better job of marking Gillian Nunn.
Because on Saturday afternoon at LaRue County, the Lady Hawks’ sophomore forward did whatever she wanted against them.
Nunn scored all her team’s goals in guiding LaRue County to a 4-1 win over its 5th Region rival.
“They were trying to pressure us, but we had some good passes and breakaways through their defense,” said Nunn, who recorded her third multi-goal game of the young season.
By the time North Hardin (0-3) switched up its defense, using sweeper freshman Maylea Green at sweeper and three defenders in front of her, it was too late.
Nunn did her damage before halftime, breaking through the Lady Trojans defense on two breakaways and being set up by two assists from freshman forward Natalie Wolf.
Nunn’s first goal came 4 minutes in as she dribbled into the 18-yard box and placed a shot just out of the reach of North Hardin senior goalkeeper Bailey Blair.
Her second goal was even better. Nunn got the ball about 35 yards from goal and played the ball up into the box by herself. Before Blair could reach it, Nunn drilled the shot into the lower left corner of the net with 22:58 left in the first half.
“I’ve done that since rec league,” Nunn said of playing the ball up to herself. “It just takes speed, and you’ve got to make sure you get your body in front of theirs.”
For someone who wasn’t feeling well, LaRue County coach Laura Kudrna was surprised by how good Nunn looked early on.
“She has a solid foot on goal,” Kudrna said. “For her not being at her best, she played well today.”
She wasn’t finished. Nunn scored her next two goals off assists from Wolf, tallying them 11 minutes apart to make it 4-0.
“They are a very fast team and caught us by surprise on four fast breaks (one-on-one) versus our keeper, and they finished well,” North Hardin coach Tony Garrison said.
The Lady Trojans had plenty of chances to break through, but LaRue County senior keeper Sierra Mullins and her defense kept them at bay.
Mullins made a few diving saves and had two shots deflected away by junior defender Carly Higdon and sophomore midfielder Hattie Ward.
“They (the defense) played really well,” said Mullins, who made nine saves. “Compared to last year, it was really good. They really helped me out. I trust my team and I know they’re going to do everything they can to keep the ball away from me.”
The Lady Trojans, however, broke up Mullins’ shutout on a penalty kick with 30:27 left.
Sophomore forward Katie Moreland was fouled in the box and nailed the PK in the upper left corner of the net.
“PKs are the hardest thing,” Mullins said. “You’ve got a 50-50 chance. You’ve got the goal behind you and a girl in front of you. It’s heads or tails.”
Garrison said Mullins played well, but he felt a lot of her success had to do with his team’s shot selection.
“That keeper, we made her look good,” he said. “We shot them right to her instead of picking the far post or the near post. Even on Katie Moreland’s fast break, it was one-on-one and she took the shot and it was straight to the keeper. When it’s shot to the keeper, it’s easy to look great.”
Despite losing for the third straight time to LaRue County (2-2), Garrison said he saw improvements from the Lady Trojans.
“It just seems like we have a problem coming out flat in the first half,” he said. “I thought we possessed the ball well; it seemed like we possessed it for most of the game. We had plenty of chances and plenty of shots and we had our one-on-ones, we just never finished our shots.”