Owensboro gets one final chance to take down Daviess County, and this time it’s win-or-go-home. After escaping round one with a shootout victory, the Red Devils (16-5-1) got a 4-0 shutout over Ohio County (9-8-3) in the Region 3 boys soccer semifinal.
Owensboro got off to a much better start this time around, and Austin Sovar got the first goal eight minutes into Tuesday night’s game.
Red Devils head coach Ryan Haley said he knew Ohio County could be dangerous, so the emphasis was to get the ball wide and keep the defensive line pushed up. Getting back a couple players who missed the opener also helped.
“Ideally, we wanted to stop playing in the center of the field so much,” he said. “We wanted to get it to our guys on the wings. Our wingers played well. We are basically back at full strength after having two guys out last night.”
Owensboro was finally able to double their lead when Austin Saltsman got a goal with three minutes left in the half.
Grayson McFarland added a scored midway through the second period, and Paxton Jenkins sealed the game with a goal with five minutes to play.
“We played a full game,” Haley said. “I was pretty happy with the boys effort and attitude. Our keeper did much better and was much more confident, but he still needs to work on when to come out when not to come out.”
Haley thought his team controlled the game and is happy for the win, but said he made sure his players had good sportsmanship.
“I thought our touch on the ball was pretty dominant,” Haley said. “Ohio County is a good team. When you send someone home you want to be happy that you won, but you want to be respectful for them. That’s one thing I preach to the kids is that we are respectful to the opposing team.”
The Red Devils now get to take on Daviess County a final time this year. It will be a rematch of the District 9 championship as they play the Panthers for the fourth time this season. Daviess County (19-2-1) beat Grayson County 10-0 in the first semifinal game Tuesday night.
Daviess County has won the three meetings so far this year, most recently a 5-0 win for the district title. The Panthers also got 4-3 and 9-0 wins during the regular season.
“We’re looking to get over that hump,” Haley said. “I believe our guys are ready to finally close that deal. Whether it happens or not, it’s going to have to be won out there on the field. Daviess county is going to attack in numbers. We’re looking to finish strong. We don’t want our season to end Thursday night.”