"We have a lot of potential, and I think it's coming together really well," Richardson said. "We're starting to go to balls and communicate a lot better. I think next week is definitely going to be a challenge, but I think if we come out hard and ready to play and encourage each other, we will definitely have a good chance for success."
Boyle coach Brian Deem said the team accomplished one of the goals it set several weeks ago, which was to win its final four regular season games. He said the Rebels are a much better team than he expected them to be when they made that goal.
"We're a lot further along than I thought we'd be at this time (when I said it) three weeks ago," Deem said. "Our freshmen are starting to play like experienced freshmen. They're starting to understand what's being asked of them, starting to understand what we're trying to do offensively and defensively. We're still coming together. By no means are we there yet, but we can still just keep improving each day as a team."
Thursday's game could have been much worse. Boyle outshot Garrard 25-7 and had several shots sail just over the crossbar or go just wide.
Richardson said playing the whole game within a goal of being tied can be stressful, but she never doubted her team.
"It's a pretty uneasy score, I guess," Richardson said. "You need to go hard all the time, but it's a little extra pressure to go hard and get the next goal. It makes you feel a lot better when you have two under you."
Boyle was never able to do that because its close shots were either off-frame or stopped by Garrard goalkeeper Ashley Meadows, who had seven saves.
"Sometimes you've got to be happy with a 1-0 win as much as you'd be happy with a 4-0 win," Deem said. "I was just waiting for the dam to break. I think if we'd gotten one more to go in, their heads would have dropped, the floodgates would have opened and we'd have started putting them in by the bucketful."
"The defense did an outstanding job," Garrard coach Tony Kluesener said. "A couple of times the ball got in there and they cleared it out quickly."
Hall's goal came in the 15th minute. She put a shot to the right side of the goal that Meadows lurched for, but it squeezed by into the back corner.
After that, Kluesener said, his team woke up.
"This is probably one of the better games the girls have played in a while," Kluesener said. "At the very beginning, they looked flat and down. I've seen that a number of times. All of a sudden, about 15 minutes into the game, they started to pick things up and they made a game out of it. This is a good game going into the (district) tournament."
The game stayed close, more so than the teams' records may indicate. But Deem said this was just another in a long line of close games between the Rebels and the Golden Lions.
"I told our girls today, 'There's something about Garrard County, whenever they come to play us, they always give us a battle,'" Deem said. "They can go out and have unfortunate luck against other teams, but they always play strongly against us. They played well tonight. They volleyed the ball well, we were just fortunate for Sarah to finish on that one goal."