Katie Merritt nets two goals as Lebanon beats Hillcrest

LCR photo/Alex Boyer
Lebanon junior Katie Merritt (9) dribbles the ball during a high school girls’ soccer game against the Hillcrest Hornets on Wednesday afternoon at Lebanon High School. Merritt scored both goals for the ‘Jackets in a 2-1 2OT victory.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LACLEDERECORD.COM

In sloppy field conditions, the Lebanon High School girls’ soccer team survived against the Hillcrest Hornets, winning 2-1 in double overtime on Wednesday afternoon.

Junior Katie Merritt has emerged as a top player this spring after an injury kept her out earlier in the year.
In Wednesday’s contest, Merritt netted the first goal of the game from about 20 yards out, turning and shooting as the ball slipped past the Hillcrest keeper to put Lebanon on top 1-0.

After a Hillcrest goal late in the second half to tie the game up, she scored the game-winning goal in double overtime after a nice throw-in from Lydia Long.

Lebanon head coach Matt Jernigan mentioned that Merritt also suffered an injury late in the game on Wednesday, but was able to perform well in the overtime periods.

“Katie played phenomenally,” he said. “She had an injury right before overtime by rolling her ankle, and she just kept battling. She had a great first goal that was an excellent shot, and made a nice run off a throw-in during double overtime and was able to turn and finish.

“She has scored eight goals this year and is playing midfield for us which is very impressive. She has become a leader on the team and reminds me a lot of Lexi Waplehorst with the way she possesses the ball.”

The ‘Jackets (6-13 overall) have had a rough stretch in the middle of the season, but have now won two straight games in the Ozark Conference, defeating West Plains last week and Hillcrest on Wednesday.

“Conference wins are always good,” said Jernigan. “It is nice to get a little bit of confidence going into district play after a tough stretch, but it is nice to let the girls know that we can compete and it is always a good thing.

“We have a tough Jefferson City team in the first round of districts, but we still have work to do against Camdenton on Senior Night (on Thursday).”

For the complete article, see the Weekend print edition of The County Record, or view http://digital.laclederecord.com/ online.

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