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Mercer Soccer No Match For Boyle County

The Harrodsburg Herald/Sam Warren
Ben Waddell making the penalty save that won Mercer County the Class 2A sectional tournament first round over Bourbon County. Waddell made eight additional saves during the match.

Sam Warren
Herald Staff

Mercer County boys soccer (3-5) had an exciting week of play, first facing the Colonels of Bourbon County (2-4) this past Tuesday, Aug. 22, in the opening round of the Class 2A sectional tournament. Bourbon County were terrific on the ball, completing pass after pass and holding onto possession for a majority of the first half. The Colonel attack lived in the Titans final third, but were hesitant to take a shot at goal. The defensive awareness of Titan defenders Kyler Sallee, Landon Steele, Slade Brogle and Hayden McGuire was crucial in keeping the number of shots down and slowing down the pace of the Bourbon attack. Midfielders Liam Potts and Daniel Butler frequently dropped deep to help the defense and win back possession.

It seemed Bourbon County held a large majority of first half possession because the Titan defense stopped them from reaching a scoring position, but also because when the Titans did recover possession, it took them mere seconds to bring the ball into the opposition’s 18-yard box.

The Titans have the athleticism and passing ability to work the ball up the pitch in no time, but the end product was never there. Jordan Piazza and Ian Alcorn are as fast as any player in Region 12, if they’re a step in front of their defender they will beat anyone to the corner flag, but getting the ball off of their feet once in the final third has been a struggle.

Wingers Jack Gammon and Grayson Guerra and freshman forward Mijiah Dunn had multiple chances to give the Titans the lead but couldn’t finish.

Just before halftime the Colonel attack found the back of the net. A moment of quick passing and a floated cross was enough to disorganize the Titan defense as Diego Navarro placed the ball into a relatively empty net (36′).

Conceding a goal just before halftime could have been a deflating goal for the Titans, but senior leaders Potts and Sallee made sure the rest of the team knew what was expected. Mercer never gave up and the pace of their attack was still causing problems for the Colonels.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s edition of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

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