In separate soccer matches this week, the Morgan County boys’ soccer team did a number on Region 8-AAA opponent Monroe Area 8-0 while the girls came away with a 2-2 tie against neighboring Eastside High School in a non-region contest.
Aaron Paul’s Bulldogs scored early and often in this one with six different players putting the ball into the net. Finn Williams pulled off the second hat trick for the Dogs this season along with teammate Trace Blanton (in an earlier game) to lead the onslaught. Phillip Webb, Patrick Griffin, Blanton, Grant Friddell, and Nick Seymour all got in on the action with a goal apiece in the 8-0 rout.
Paul said, “The defense played excellent as usual with Ben Adams, David Rachkovskiy, Andrew Watkins, and Patrick Griffin getting another shutout. We played very well overall and were able to see some younger players play and get some experience. Michael Peters, Peyton Hoopengardner, Sinon LeClair, Will Kuperberg, David Newell, and Connor Clark all got some quality minutes. They are all players who contribute greatly to both the varsity and JV teams.”
Meanwhile, the girls took on AAAA opponent Eastside in a home match that ended in a tie at 2-2. Morgan scored a late goal to tie things up when Cat Usry hit a deep shot with 3:28 remaining in the contest from the middle of the field to save the Lady Dogs from the loss. No overtime was played.
After a late start due to a scheduling conflict, the game was played under a full moon and nippy temperatures that kept the field a little slippery for the players. From the outset it was obvious that Morgan would have their hands full in this one. Eastside drew first blood when they scored with only 35:53 showing on an unassisted goal when the Lady Dogs mishandled a pass deep in their own territory. Goal keeper McKenzie Larate had no chance after the mishap as Eastside made an easy and wide open shot from inside the penalty box in the middle of the field for the 1-0 lead.
MOCO played great defense after that. In particular, Mackenzi Barrett had a nice game from her midfield defensive position making some nice saves throughout the evening. The Lady Dogs began putting pressure on the Eastside defense around the 22 minute mark with several opportunities and shots taken on goal. Morgan also got a huge break right before the half when a Lady Eagles’ shot hit the left post and careened into the middle of the field before Morgan could clear it. The half ended 1-0.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was a defensive struggle with both teams trying to find a weakness. Anna Hart made two nice shots that were deflected or saved by Eastside’s goalie during that time frame, but nothing much offensively was happening for Morgan. With 20:32 showing on the clock, freshman Brooke Butler handled a pass in the middle of the field and struck a long shot from the middle of the field that found pay dirt to tie the game at 1-1. It didn’t take the Lady Eagles long to counter. A corner kick resulted in a perfectly centered ball that somehow got behind Morgan’s goalie. The loose ball was tipped in behind the defense with less than two minutes run off since the Morgan score. Eastside now led 2-1 and time was running out.
With 17 minutes and some change showing, Barrett stepped up again with a great defensive effort to save what could have been a winning goal before the last minute heroics of Usry to tie things up at 2-2. Neither team could muster a shot during the final 3:28 of the match so that was how it ended.
The soccer teams are both scheduled for matches on Mar. 9 with Franklin County and Jackson County. Both games are scheduled for a 5:30 kickoff and will be away contests.