Boyle blanks Danville for district soccer title

Published 10:28 am Monday, October 9, 2023


Contributing Writer

Everyone knows what to expect when Boyle County and Danville’s boys soccer teams get together, and the Rebels are there for it.

Email newsletter signup

The intensity level goes way up for a Boyle-Danville game, even more so when championships are on the line, and that was in evidence Thursday night when the crosstown rivals met at Reynolds Field for the 45th District Tournament title.

Boyle rose to the occasion once again, blanking Danville 4-0 for its eighth consecutive victory in the series and its fifth consecutive district championship.

Games between the Rebels and Admirals, who are often two of the best teams in the 12th Region, are hotly contested, highly physical battles that have brought out the best in Boyle in recent years.

“We know they’re a pretty good team, they have a great program and they have a bunch of dogs on that field, too,” Boyle goalkeeper McClain Denny said. “I have so much respect for that team, but it just comes down to us wanting it. And I just love it, I love the way we come together, we compete, we lift each other up.”

David Ritchie, a 2008 Danville graduate who is in his second season as Boyle’s coach, said Boyle-Danville games are different from any other game the Rebels play.

“You can just feel it. The atmosphere is completely different,” Ritchie said. “As a coach you don’t even really have to say much. The players are just ready for it.”

Boyle (13-8) buried Danville (11-5-2) under three second-half goals that came in a 9 1/2-minute span.

Bo Little, Matthew Britt and Andrew Carr scored in the 44th, 48th and 54th minutes to stretch the Rebels’ 1-0 halftime lead.

“I thought they did a really good job of moving the ball, but they weren’t trying to be selfish and they just really matched the intensity (of Danville),” Ritchie said.

Boyle, which won the regular-season meeting between the teams 5-0, has beaten Danville in the past three district finals and defeated the Admirals for the 12th Region title last year.

“We know all the boys, and whether we like them or not, every year we’re going to be competitive and then we’re going to see them again in postseason,” Britt said. “It’s always going to be chippy and competitive, but it’s fun.”

It wasn’t quite as much fun for Danville, which was outshot 24-7, and coach Brent Beauman, whose team had won eight straight games since its loss to Boyle on Aug. 31.

“Boyle’s definitely a good team, and they played a tough schedule so that prepares you,” Beauman said. “We’ve had injuries, but when we got everybody back we kind of got things rolling.”

Alan Wireman started the scoring for the Rebels in the 23rd minute when he punched in a cross that Little sent to the front of the net.

Danville got several corner kicks but had only two shots on goal, both saved by Denny.

“We knew who their targets were, we knew their strengths, and we made sure we prepared at practice the past couple days, watched what they were going to do,” Denny said.

Danville goalkeeper Grayson Nagorka had six saves before he moved to a field position in the second half and was replaced by Henry Tubb, who had four saves.

Both Danville and Boyle are among the top contenders at the 12th Region Tournament, which began Monday at Wayne County.

Britt said winning the district title gives the Rebels momentum.

“Starting off the postseason with two big goal differential wins is what we need, especially for our young players to be in the right mindset going forward,” he said.

Beauman said the Admirals have been trending in the right direction as well.

“We’re definitely playing a lot better. We’re starting to possess the ball a whole lot better, we’ve moved some people around to different spots,” he said. “You take the rivalry out, I think we can definitely play with anybody.”

He told Ritchie he wouldn’t mind one more rivalry game, which would be in the regional final.

“Hopefully we can do this one more time,” Beauman said.

All-Tournament Team

Matthew Britt, Boyle County; Micah Brown, Boyle County; McClain Denny, Boyle County; Carter Dilbeck, Danville; Tucker Elkins, Lincoln County; Sam Finke, Danville; Bo Little, Boyle County; Jabe Moore, Garrard County; Jefferson Morgan, Garrard County; Fox Spears, Danville; Hunter Stafford, Lincoln County.