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Hawks pluck Eagles - twice

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By Charles Holloway

 

The first week of soccer matches saw good fortune for the Hawks of LaRue County High School.  

The Hawks soccer team, led by Coach Derek Bell, opened the 18th district season play Aug. 13 with an impressive 8-2 victory over the visiting Campbellsville Eagles. On the attack, seniors Alex Cook, Rico Collado and Marshall Metcalf continued their assault on the record books.

Collado gathered his troops and fed a diagonal-running Metcalf with a pinpoint pass. At 5:32 p.m., Metcalf’s score was perhaps the first score in the state.

Metcalf returned the favor 10 minutes later when he lofted a pass to Cook, who netted his first goal of the season. Such was the kick that the keeper could only gaze in amazement as the bullet whizzed by. Collado assisted on the next goal.

Junior Raymundo Perez found a hole through the defense and tapped in a goal from his left midfield position.  

After stoppage of play due to thunder and lightning, junior Kyle DeVary knocked the ball in from a deflected shot by Cook. Cook scored his second goal with seven minutes remaining in the first half with a long downfield pass from senior Brandon Lucas.

Senior Austin Puryear anchored the defense that allowed only one shot on goal and discouraged any serious mounted attack.

So staunch was the defense that sophomore keeper Holden Blair did not have to record a single save and only two collections. A solid performance was rendered by senior Brock James, juniors Catfish Hurt and DeVary and sophomore Trevor Cecil.

The second half erupted with several shots on goal before Cook outraced the entire defense and netted his third goal of the match, his first hat trick of the season, with the assist to Metcalf. 

With six minutes remaining, senior Tyler Skaggs netted his first varsity goal on a penalty kick. Freshman Ethan Hawkins ended the scoring with his first goal, with an assist to senior Dakota Walker.

Aug. 14

District foe Marion County defeated LaRue County 3-2 by virtue of a 5-4 advantage in kicks from the mark at the conclusion of regulation and overtime.

Six off-sides violations, three cautionary cards and two mental mistakes allowed the Knights to draw first blood and take a 2-0 lead at halftime.

At the break, the Hawks’ leaders gathered the troops and re-established priorities and determination.

The defensive wall of Puryear, Lucas, James, DeVary, Hurt, Cecil and Blair repelled attack after attack, not allowing another score.

Collado cracked the code and delivered a solid hard-driven pass to Cook.

Cook outraced the defense and rifled his bullet into the net 12 minutes of the second half. Fifteen minutes later, Metcalf stifled the Knight attack and worked the ball upfield to a heavily-guarded Collado.

Collado took the ball and deftly lofted an arching pass to Cook, who headed the ball into the net. 

Thirty more minutes of regulation time and overtime revealed no further scoring, but plenty of opportunities. Thus, the kicks from the mark would determine the winner, not on the battlefield. Collado, Metcalf, Cook and Hurt drilled their shots, but the Knights notched one more shot.  

Aug. 18

The Hawks defeated Louisville Southern, 6-3, Aug. 18.

Twenty minutes into the match, Cook received an accurate pass from freshman Ethan Hawkins and blasted a shot into the lower left corner of the net.

Ten minutes lapsed with increased activity around the goal mouth until junior Curtis Milby launched a strong crossing pass to an unmarked and open Cook, who tapped the ball in. Two minutes later, Walker maneuvered the ball from the flank and found Collado at the top of the keeper’s box. Collado calmly squeezed the ball under the arms of the diving keeper.

At halftime, the coach challenged the team to put the opponents to bed and score within the first five minutes.  

Three minutes in, James repelled an attack and propelled the sphere forward to Perez.

Perez angled his shot toward the goal and it was deflected by the keeper. Cook pounced on the ball and squibbed it past the keeper.  Sixty seconds and again, the same result.  

Collado lofted another arching pass and Cook outlept the defense and headed the ball into the net.

The Trojans struck back with three goals. 

With minutes remaining in the match and the score still too close to declare a winner, Metcalf stepped up.  

While playing defensive midfield, Metcalf seized the opportunity and intercepted an errant pass.  Maneuvering forward, he juked and embarrassed four defenders before he opened up at the 18-yard line box.  As the keeper slid right, Metcalf shot left, into the corner. The stadium could feel the air drop from the Trojan sails as Metcalf confidently strode back to his position.

Aug. 20

The Hawks continued their assault with a 7-1 victory over the Campbellsville Eagles.

Cook took control early as he blasted a shot into the net only one minute after the opening kickoff.  Brock James, from his defensive fullback position, intercepted an errant pass and lofted a long downfield pass to Cook.

Fifteen minutes lapsed before Metcalf maneuvered himself into a position to lift an arching pass over the defense to Cook, who tapped the ball into the corner. Five minutes and several scoring opportunities later, Cook was standing all alone in front of the goal when the keeper failed to snatch the ball from Cook’s foot. A striker’s dream.

Instead, Cook made a square pass to his right.  Fellow senior Mason Morgan was a willing recipient and knocked the ball into net – Morgan’s first high school tally.

Cook completed another hat trick by heading the ball into the net, receiving the ball from a corner kick from Metcalf.