After suffering a loss to Danville (6-2) on Thursday, Sept. 7, the Mercer County Titans soccer team bounced back to the win column after defeating Western Hills (1-6) on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Senior Brandon Ballard continues his record-breaking season, netting a hat trick against the Wolverines. Juniors Luke Dean and Angelo Ontiveros also scored and goalkeeper Jacob Cruz earned his third clean sheet of the season to secure the 5-0 win for the Titans. The win improves the Titans to 6-3-1 heading into the second half of their schedule.
“We discussed prior to the game that we really wanted to play hard and secure a shutout after giving up too many goals in our last game against Danville,” said Mercer Head Coach Garrett Stark. “We took last Friday off between games just to rest mentally and physically and the boys came out and played hard on Saturday.”
Against Danville, it was a roller coaster of emotions for both teams. Just when you thought one team was going to hold on for the win, the other team scores to swing momentum and tie the game.
Danville had many chances to score early, but were not able to connect until midway through the first half to take a 1-0 lead. Ballard scored right before the half to tie the game heading into the locker room.
The second half felt like a separate game. Both teams came out aggressive which led to eight goals in the second half. A costly own goal by the Titans gave Danville the 2-1 lead. Shortly after, Dean scores to notch the game at two. Ballard scores again to give Mercer their first lead of the night and momentum was fully on their side.
The last 15 minutes was a joy to watch if you’re a soccer fan. Danville scored to tie it at three with 10 minutes to go. Mercer’s very next possession saw senior Trey Releford head the ball in to retake the lead for Mercer. Unfortunately, for the Titans, the Danville attack was too much in the final moments of the game. The Admirals were able to score two more goals to win the game 6-4.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.