Mercer County Senior High School boys soccer (2-3) is now 2-1 when facing teams from Pulaski County following their 2-0 win over Southwestern (1-3) this past Thursday, Aug. 17. Two days prior the Titans were outmatched by district rivals East Jessamine, by a final score of 3-1. Senior midfielder Liam Potts scored the Titans’ only goal from the penalty spot in what became the Titans first loss to East Jessamine in nine years.
The Titan midfield looked lackadaisical, and the communication and physicality of the Jaguar midfield was too much for Mercer to handle.
“East Jessamine was more physical, and dictated the pace of the game. East played well together, and we need to communicate more,” said Head Coach Mark Dunn.
Through the first four games, Dunn’s biggest emphasis has been on physicality, and taking open shots. The Titans learned from their loss to the Jaguars and began the Southwestern matchup with a creative intensity. The blistering speed of wingers Jordan Piazza and Jack Gammon, and freshman center forward Mijiah Dunn was too much for the Warriors defense to even remotely contain. The Titans took shot after shot from every angle in the opening 40 minutes but lacked the composure to find the back of the net.
Junior Southwestern goalkeeper Shooter Sharp was under constant attack for the full 80 minutes, and did a commendable job in holding the Titans to just two goals.
The Titans took a dozen or more shots in the first half, many of which from point blank range. Senior Liam Potts and sophomore Daniel Butler were hyperactive in the midfield, winning possession and distributing the ball out wide swiftly, which led to most of Mercer’s threatening attacks.
“We started to communicate and connected more in the middle,” said Dunn. “We took more shots on goal. We have to score to win.”
In the end, Mercer couldn’t make the easy shots, but they scored in the most difficult way possible. Junior midfielder Luis Osoy, who took on a more attacking role Thursday, stepped up to take a corner kick from left to right early in the second half (44′); the right footed kick soared over every defender, and the ball found its home in the very top right of the goalposts. Sharp stood no chance at saving the shot. Later in the second half Osoy received the ball just outside the left corner of the 18-yard box (74′) and proved he can bend the ball like no other in the Titans roster, smashing the ball towards the rear post and sealing the Titans’ victory.