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LaRue County's boys' soccer team has had a successful first week of the season. Playing four varsity matches and two junior varsity matches in six days, the Hawks emerged unbeaten at the varsity level and junior varsity.
Albeit the Hawks have played varsity soccer for three years, the team has not competed in a district/region environment. That has changed this year, and the first two district opponents were met with anxiety.
The Hawks held their own against Bardstown, a seasoned team with 12 seniors and seven returning starters. The result was a 0-0 draw.
Junior goalkeeper Bo Haun rejected seven shots, including a diving save in the last minute of the match. His defense was led by Chris Poteet at sweeper, senior Patrick Thompson and junior Brent Gozzard at outside backs, and senior Aaron Kennedy at stopper. The attack had nine shots on goal and was led by senior Todd Gozzard at midfield and juniors Dillon Walker and Dylan White as strikers. Nerves set in as Walker was fouled inside the keeper’s box 25 minutes into the game. Walker’s ensuing kick was just wide as he aimed for the corner net and missed. This attempt did not demoralize the team as it continued the attack on goal.
Next up were the Eagles from North Bullitt. The first home district game ever for the Hawks resulted in a 2-0 win. White scored the first ever goal against a district opponent in the 60th minute of the match. Freshman Marshall Metcalf was credited with the assist on a long downfield pass to White, who outran the defense and placed his shot past a diving keeper. Four minutes later, Walker received a crossing pass from freshman Alex Cook and tapped the ball into the net.
The Hawks out shot the Eagles nine to zero.
Much heralded Marion County was next for the Hawks. Strong and aggressive, the Knights peppered the goalmouth with 25 shots as one shot found its mark. Haun saved 13 of those shots and senior sweeper Chris Poteet anchored a decimated defense to preserve the 1-1 draw. Freshman Killian Gorman notched a header goal. The Hawks had only four shots on goal.
The Hawks defense was decimated by injuries to Thompson and Brent Gozzard. Underclassmen stepped up and contributed to the defensive stand. Juniors Josh Jones and Andrew Skaggs and sophomore Dakota White pitched in when hopes were down and kept the Hawks unbeaten.
On Saturday, the team traveled to Monroe County and challenged a determined Falcon team, which had never beaten the Hawks. The junior varsity played first, taking a 7-2 victory.
The varsity team started out sluggish until White outraced the Falcon keeper after a miscue and scored at the 24th minute. The play began with a long downfield pass from junior Cheyenne Perkins. Haun made one save in the first half, as the Hawks out shot the Falcons 8-1.
In the second half, the Hawks scored four more goals in the first 20 minutes.