By Terry Böhmker
NKyTribune sports reporter
Notre Dame lived up to its # 1 ranking in Kentucky girls’ football with a 5-0 win over runner-up Louisville Sacred Heart in the first round of the Lady Knights Challenge Cup at Lexington Catholic High School on Tuesday.
With the victory over last year’s national champion, the pandas have expanded their perfect record to 13: 0. It was the first loss of the season for Sacred Heart (13-1-1). The Valkyries had scored a goal in their 10 previous games.
Notre Dame led 2-0 in the first half with goals from senior Ella Simkonis and the second Hannah Knapke. The pandas pulled away in the second half when senior Macie Feldman and juniors Ellie Greenwell and Kennedy Clark pushed balls into the net.
Senior goalkeeper Abby Breeze scored her tenth shutout of the season in the game. The pandas outperformed their first 13 opponents by a margin of 47-2.
Notre Dame will play Louisville Manual (5-3) in the semi-finals on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Lexington Catholic. The other semi-final game between Highlands (7-2) and Louisville Assumption (8-3) is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The winners will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the championship finals.
Highlands defeated Lexington Catholic 2-1 and Assumption defeated Simon Kenton 1-0 in Monday’s first-round games. Manuel defeated Lexington Dunbar 1-0 in the other first round game on Tuesday.
Notre Dame and Sacred Heart were the top two teams in the state this week in both the MaxPreps and Maher Power rankings. Highlands was ranked 4th in MaxPreps and 5th in Maher.
Ryle is one of the top ranked boys’ soccer teams in the state. The Raiders, who have an 8-0-2 record, are No. 5 at MaxPreps and No. 7 at Maher. Last year, Ryle won the 9th Regional Championship and made it to the semi-finals of the state tournament before losing his first game on a penalty shootout.
The boys’ football teams from Beechwood and Brossart will meet in the playoffs of the All “A” Classic section on Saturday afternoon in Brossart. The winner of this game will be from 25.-26. Ascent to the state small school tournament with eight teams in the Capital View Park in Frankfurt on September 1st.
The eight teams for the All “A” Classic Girls’ State Tournament, which will be played the same weekend, include Walton-Verona and Brossart.