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SOCCER: 'The entire region knows your team'

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By Charles Holloway

 The LaRue County Hawks won a berth in the 5th Region Tournament with a 7-0 victory over Campbellsville.

LaRue County High School Principal Paul Mullins told the Hawks they “put the school on the map” with their first-ever appearance in the 5th region tournament.

“The entire region knows your soccer team.”

The Hawks lost the championship match against the Eagles of Bethlehem High School, eight-time defending district champion. Bethlehem is a perennial all-A state champion or finalist. Bethlehem is the premier soccer program in the region. 

In six previous meetings, the Hawks had not come close to scoring against the Eagles. Expectations were that the Hawks were going to lose and lose big.

Somebody forgot to tell these Hawks. These Hawks were a determined group, not willing to lay down for anyone.

In fact, these Hawks had more scoring opportunities than the Eagles in the first half.  

At the end of the first half, the score was 0-0. The players were in the moment. Praise and encouragement were heard, not discord and disgust.  

Then disaster.  Bethlehem scored.

The expected rout was on. Except ... according to the opposing coaches, the Hawks intensified their game and stepped it up another level, more determined than ever to show they belong at this stage.

Hurt played defensive midfield with passion. Puryear and James solidified the defense. Trevor Cecil and Brandon Lucas applied defensive pressure. Metcalf controlled the midfield.

The culmination came when Morgan gobbled the ball and directed a pass to Cook. 

Cook flicked the ball over a defender and found a seam through the defense for a score. Then, Bethlehem scored the game winner.  

The Hawks did not put their heads down. No shame, just pride. They played the game for their community, for their school, for themselves.

The character of this team was defined early in the season and was reiterated during this match, “Hawks never quit.”