• 39°

Boyle boys’ soccer reaches Elite 8 in state play; next game is tonight at 7 p.m. at Rebel Stadium

Boyle boys’ soccer reaches state tournament Elite 8

 

By JACK LITTLE

Contributing Writer

 

Andrew Leines handles the ball against a Montgomery County defender in opening round action of the boys’ KHSAA state soccer tournament. (Jeff Moreland photo)

For the first time in two weeks, coach Jeremy Carlson was back at the helm for the Boyle County Rebels boys soccer team, and for the first time in six years, the Rebels were in the state tournament round of 16. The 2014 Boyle team fell at this stage, but this year’s Rebels were not going to go down just yet.

The draw found Boyle County, the 12th Region champions, facing off against the Montgomery County Indians, champions of the 10th Region, at Rebel Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Indians came into the contest boasting an 8-3-2 record, while the Rebels were 9-8-1. At first glance, Montgomery was heavily favored, but the Rebels only used that as fuel for their fire.

The Indians dominated the early game, with the Rebels turning the ball over in their defensive third, but Boyle responded extremely well in the next 10 minutes.

They created multiple chances in this period including a right-footed curler from senior Caden Ferrell that missed by millimeters and a shot from senior Gabe Hodge that was deflected out of bounds for a corner.

Montgomery’s main source of offense came from their pacey forwards, but sophomore defender Andrew Leines and sophomore defender Ben Reynolds were up to the task.

Rebel goalkeeper Jack Little waits to defend against a Montgomery County player during KHSAA state tournament play Saturday. (Jeff Moreland photo)

The score was 0-0 going into halftime with neither team getting a great scoring opportunity in the entire half.

The second half brought one major change — Boyle County was bringing more energy to the table.

Boyle pressed forward more and controlled the possession for most of the first 20 minutes, but could not find a goal.

The deadlock finally broke when junior Judson Perry nodded a wobbling header straight at the Indian goalkeeper who bobbled the ball and dropped it into the back of the net, giving the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

The rest of the game consisted of the Rebels holding the ball and clearing it away, not allowing any chances for the Indians until the last three minutes of the game.

An Indian forward broke away from the Boyle defenders and hit a slow roller past sophomore Rebel goalkeeper Jack Little, but Leines was there to save the day with a goal-line clearance.

That was the game, and 1-0 was the final score as the Boyle County Rebels advanced to the Elite 8 for the third time in school history.

The Rebels will play against undefeated Ryle at Rebel Stadium at 7 pm on Monday night.