Boyle beats Danville for boys’ district soccer title

Published 1:55 pm Monday, October 11, 2021

LANCASTER — Ty Short was right, even if he wasn’t right on the money.

The Boyle County boys soccer coach saw the potential for a big second half that could propel the Rebels to a second straight district championship, and he told them so at halftime Saturday.

Then he watched as the Rebels stormed past Danville in the final 23 minutes for a 6-3 victory in the boys’ 45th District Tournament final at Garrard Middle School.

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Boyle scored five unanswered goals in a span of 20 minutes to rally from a 3-1 deficit and put Danville in the rear-view mirror.

And while it took a little longer than Short might have liked for the Rebels to get their offense going, he said he knew it was within them all along.

“I’d like it to be that way from the start, but I’ll take it when I can get it, that’s for sure,” Short said. “I told them at halftime, I said, ‘Look, we’re going to score four goals in the second half,’ and one of the kids came up to me at the end and said, ‘Coach, you were wrong.’ I said, ‘About what?’ and he said, ‘We didn’t score four, we scored five.’”

Boyle (11-4-2), the defending 12th Region champion, trailed 2-1 when the teams took the field Saturday some 41 hours after the game was suspended in the 16th minute Thursday due to lightning, and it was 3-1 by halftime.

Short said everything changed in the 58th minute when Bo Little sprinted from near midfield down the sideline to punch the ball into the top corner of the Danville goal.

“Honestly, I think they were in their own heads,” Short said. “That goal from Bo flipped a switch in them. I think seeing him work hard down that sideline put a spark in everybody. We had been down 2-1 for 48 hours, and it took scoring another goal to realize,

‘Oh, we can do this,’ to kind of flip that switch.”

Matthew Britt, who scored the first of his two goals in the 63rd minute to tie the game, said the players knew they could turn things around, and he said the Boyle fans also had a hand in energizing them.

“We knew we were in the game, we knew we could come back, and the fans really brought that energy as well,” Britt said. “All that positive energy just gave us the motivation to put some goals in and finish it out.”

Jack Little scored a controversial goal with just under nine minutes remaining to give Boyle a 4-3 lead. His shot was stopped, but officials ruled it had crossed the goal line.

And the Rebels weren’t done. Britt scored one minute later on a blast from 30 yards out, and Tristan Compton added one more in the 78th minute to seal Boyle’s third straight victory over Danville.

“I know that they can do it,” Short said. “We’ve played some teams that we should not have kept up with and kept up with them. I know these guys can work hard and do what they’re supposed to.”

Danville coach Brent Beauman knew it, too.

“We knew we had the lead and we were holding back. We were just giving them too many chances,” Beauman said. “They’ve got good people who can score, and we were just giving them too much space. We’re not used to parking the bus. … We like to attack.”

But Beauman said he also could see his team, which has a short bench, beginning to tire.

“You could see the legs were getting tired,” he said.

Meanwhile, Boyle’s energy level seemed to increase with each goal.

“That energy’s just contagious,” Britt said. “We were all happy and playing for each other at that point.”

Judson Perry scored a first-half goal for Boyle on Thursday, while Iain McAlister and Carter Dilbeck scored for Danville (12-6-2).

Keegyn Wilcher scored the final goal for the Admirals in the 25th minute.

Beauman said he felt the final score didn’t accurately indicate how close the game was, and he said he was pleased with the way his young defense dug in.

“There’s probably not another team that played in the district championship playing four freshmen and a sophomore for their back five players, but that’s what we have to do,” he said. “It wasn’t what we wanted, but everybody’s effort was perfect and that’s all we can ask for.”

Short said he hopes the Rebels can ride the momentum from this win into the regional tournament at Somerset, where they will defend their 2020 regional title, and Britt said the Rebels know they can’t rest on this performance.

“We can’t be pleased with our performance tonight. We’ve just got to keep focused on regions,” he said.

All-Tournament Team
Matthew Britt, Boyle County; Ryan Clarkson, Danville; Tristan Compton, Boyle County; Fain Hackney, Boyle County; Bo Little, Boyle County; Iain McAlister, Danville; Mason Reynolds, Garrard County; Jackson Sims, Lincoln County; Bo Wallin, Lincoln County; Connor Warren, Garrard County; Keegyn Wilcher, Danville.