GRC boys soccer loses tight rivalry game

Published 11:34 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

MOUNT STERLING — There were no legitimate goals scored Thursday night in a tight, back-and-forth meeting between rivals George Rogers Clark and Montgomery County.

After finishing regulation and overtime still tied with a goal apiece, the game was decided on penalty kicks with the Indians making all four of their chances and the Cards missing two.

The 2-1 final is not what the Cardinals hoped, but GRC coach Walt Ridener said he would rather pick up the win when the teams meet again — most likely in the 39th District Tournament.

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“They’re a good team,” he said. “We’re pretty evenly matched. There were some questionable calls here and there, but it doesn’t really matter. We’ve got to capitalize on our chances and tonight we didn’t.”

GRC controlled most of the action and put pressure on the Montgomery goal through the opening 25 minutes. The Indians took control of possession in the following 15 minutes, but neither team found a goal in the first half.

The second half was more of a back-and-forth affair, with each team finding their spots but again, never getting the go-ahead score.

That changed midway through the second half when a whistle in the GRC box gave the Indians a chance at a penalty kick — the Indians made it count and took a 1-0 lead.

That seemed to take the wind out of the Cardinals for a bit, but the club recovered and Josh Bailey was tripped in the Montgomery box during an attack in the final 10 minutes.

Senior Dallas Wingert put the PK past the Montgomery keeper and the teams were knotted at 1.

A frantic back-and-forth followed but neither team could make a scoring chance count, sending the game to the unfulfilling penalty kick decision.

That gives the Cardinals the impetus to keep working on their penalty kicks.

“We’ve been working on them,” Ridener said. “They just get too scared or whatever it is. They get nervous. Same thing happened at Bourbon last year. We just couldn’t get a PK to go in.”

The win pushes the Indians to 11-5 on the season and 3-0 in district play. The Cardinals fall to 2-1 in league play and 8-3 on the year.

They might not have to do too much PK practice, as the Cardinals were averaging more than 4.5 goals scored a contest coming into Thursday’s game.

“We’ll figure it out,” Ridener said. “We’ve got a great season going.”

Despite weather canceling half a dozen games for GRC, the Cardinals still have a double-digit victory season in sight and the No. 2 seed in the 39th District Tournament.

If the Cardinals are to exact revenge for Thursday’s loss, it will have to come in the tournament championship game — on the same field as the Indians are this year’s hosts for the postseason tournament.

GRC has a pair of home games next, facing St. Patrick at 1 p.m. tomorrow before welcoming Mason County Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. That game is scheduled as senior night for the Cardinals, who boast 10 seniors in this year’s class.