THE CASE FOR BETHLEHEM BANSHEE SOCCER!
It was a cold dark Thursday evening at Elizabethtown High School. The year was 2015 and the Elizabethtown Girls Soccer team was squaring off against the Bethlehem Girls Soccer team for a chance to advance to the KHSAA State Tournament's semi-state format. The Lady Panthers, who were suppose to be there were experienced and talented while the Lady Banshees were a puzzle. A very young talented quick team with unlimited potential and NO household names.
After Bethlehem won the game in a shootout, nobody still knew who these girls were.
After they advanced to the Elite Eight with a surprising upset win over Mercy thanks to some last minute heroics by freshman Maddie Sparks, they were still a question mark.
After they beat Henderson County on freshman Abigail Proctor's late goal to send them to the KHSAA Final Four then suddenly everyone began to take notice.
The following season, when they qualified for the 5th Region Tournament again and brought their pinball offense with them everyone began to realize that these girls are pretty good. Not just a team of sophomores that could score in bunches, but a team with a pretty good defense too.
Their 6-1 win over Elizabethtown in the Region Final was no fluke.
So now the Lady Banshees came into the new season with plenty of respect and lots of challenges. Since 2001 only two teams had won the 5th Region Championship (Central Hardin and Elizabethtown) that is until Bethlehem changed that.
Now the question is what can they do for an encore?
True. Players come and go, but this group was originally led by a talented freshman class and a very steady group of seniors and sophomores two years ago. Now, those freshman are juniors and ready to continue the legacy that they started back on that cold October Night.
The Banshees are led by Midfielder Haley Nelson, who runs the offense like a veteran. Nelson has plenty of scorers she can get the ball to such as junior's Abigail Proctor and Maddie Sparks. The two combined for 64-goals between them last season and Carly Beam (14-goals) emerged as a scorer, too. The Goalkeeper position has been manned by Abby Elder, who last season suffered a injuried wrist and missed several games while Rachel Allen stepped in and the defense didn't miss a beat. Jordan Cross and Sydney Greenwell help man the defense this season.
This season, Bethlehem has sported a 11-5-1 record against one of the tougher out of district schedules. Games against Sacred Heart, DuPont Manuel, Male and Assumption have helped battle test them as the playoffs approach for head coach Danny Rossoll's team.
So as the District Tournament closes in, you may want to check these Lady Banshees out because they might actually impress you for a team which everyone respects, but nobody talks about.