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LaRue makes valiant stands in first district appearance

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Though outnumbered, girls' varsity makes stand

By Charles Holloway

If you do not follow the LaRue County High School soccer teams, you missed two outstanding district games.

After six years of practicing, three years as a junior varsity program and two years as an independent varsity program, both teams played in their first district tournament.

On Monday, the boys were matched against Bardstown Tigers, a team LaRue County played to a 0-0 draw during the first week of the season.

Both teams battled evenly in the first half with no serious penetration by either offense.  The defensive effort was established early. After 60 scoreless minutes, senior Todd Gozzard drilled a strong through pass to junior Dillon Walker, who notched his seventh goal of the season, tying him for second place on the school’s single season scoring record. 

Bardstown came back to even the score.  Regulation time ended with the score 1-1.

By KHSAA rules, there will be two 10-minute overtime  periods. After the first period, the score was still tied. One minute into the second period, Bardstown was awarded a penalty kick for an infraction inside the keeper’s box. They scored.

With darkness approaching and no lights at the field, attack after attack was thwarted by the Bards­town’s senior keeper and its defense. With one minute remaining in the overtime period, the Hawks pressed forward in an attempt to score. 

Score––and the season continued, or sit back and wonder: what if?

On a solid attack, a Tiger defender knocked the ball over the goal line resulting in a Hawk corner kick.  Junior goalkeeper Bo Haun, trying to be inconspicuous with a bright neon yellow jersey, received the ball and headed it toward the goal. Senior sweeper Chris Poteet collected the ball and tapped it past a stunned keeper

The Hawks scored with 30 seconds remaining.

The officials suspended the game due to darkness and resumed play the next day, which meant two more overtime periods would be played to determine the winner. These periods would be “golden goal,” meaning a sudden death format in which the next goal wins

No score resulted from the second day’s overtime play. By rule, kicks from the penalty mark would determine a winner. The best of five kicks would win.

Bardstown kicked first and missed. LaRue County kicked and missed. Bardstown kicked and made it.  LaRue County kicked and missed. Bo Haun repelled the other kickers. It came down to the Hawks’ fourth and fifth kickers. 

Juniors Cheyenne Perkins and Dylan White confidently nailed their kicks and the celebration began.

It was short-lived. Five minutes later, the next game began.

The result was a three-point loss to Bethlehem High School.  Bethlehem also won the district tournament 3-0 over Nelson County.

There was no time to relish the sweet taste of victory. But for five minutes, the team was on top of the world.

GIRLS. LaRue’s girls have not fared well this season due to injuries and numbers, but you could not tell last Sunday. Decidedly underdogs, LaRue had only nine players to go against their opponents’ two platoons of 11 each.

The Lady Hawks finished on the short end of an 11-0 mercy rule contest. But these young women battled and hustled all game. They represented.

The fact that these players never gave up, never quit brought bright smiles and cheers from the entire grandstand, not just from the LaRue County side.