BUTLER – The Saints’ struggles in boys’ soccer district tournaments continued on Monday.
St. Patrick entered this year’s tournament without a district tournament win since 2011 when they beat Mason County, 3-1, as members of the 23rd district, and the postseason winless streak continued with a 4-0 loss to Harrison County in the 2018 38th District semifinals on Monday.
“We had a lot of mistakes in the first half which gave them multiple opportunities for the fast goals,” said St. Patrick coach Michael Parsons. “We tried to recover. We had moments where we were able to move the ball through the field like we should have been able to the whole time, but it just ended up not in our favor.”
Duncan Wiley, who Harrison County coach Richard Crowdy describes as “fast as lightning,” showed off his speed early on his way to a four-goal game.
The senior got the Thorobreds on the board in the fifth minute when a ball attempted to be cleared by a St. Patrick defender bounced off Wiley’s body and toward the goal. He ran it down and beat St. Patrick keeper Alain Lopez one-on-one for the 1-0 lead.
He added his second 17 minutes into the first half when he put a low shot from the left side under Lopez, and completed the hat trick with just a few minutes to go until halftime when he beat Lopez in another one-on-one opportunity.
Wiley collected his fourth goal in the 66th minute when a rebound off a shot from Casey Sledd found his foot and he was able to put it into the back of the net for the 4-0 lead.
St. Patrick continued pushing forward, but were unable to come up with quality chances as the maroon jerseys from the Harrison County defense, led by Wilson Duckworth and Cameron Kinsey, swarmed the Saints.
“Obviously it hindered us a lot because we weren’t able to get enough people in the box to look for a drop pass or anybody running through the box to help out,” said Parsons. “It seems like we got kind of stuck in the 18-yard box and couldn’t get a rhythm, couldn’t get help.”
The Saints finish the season with a 6-8-2 record and lose four seniors in Pedro Briseno, Paco Franco, Eli Frye and Logan Kalb.
“They played very well. They’re very dedicated. Big hearts,” said Parsons. “For the most part, never quit most of the time they played. Every time I asked them to do something they did it. They played well.”
St. Patrick does return 10 players from this season’s roster. That group combined to score 36 goals this season.
“Probably 65 percent of my team are freshmen, inexperienced,” said Parsons. “It’ll probably just take a little more time on the ball, a little more practice, a little bit more confidence in themselves.”
Harrison County moves to 6-7-2 with the win and will face Pendleton County in the championship game on Wednesday. The Wildcats beat Mason County, 1-0, in the first 38th District semifinal game.
The Thorobreds fell to Pendleton County in last year’s final, 2-1. Crowdy says they won’t be looking back at that meeting with the Wildcats, as they had eight seniors on the 2017 roster and a new look this fall.
Wednesday’s game is scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m.
THOROBREDS 4, SAINTS 0
HARRISON COUNTY — 3-1— 4
ST. PATRICK — 0-0— 0
Goals: (HC) Duncan 5th minute, (HC) Duncan 17th minute, (HC) Duncan 37th minute, (HC) Duncan 66th minute
Shots (On goal): Harrison County 19 (14), St. Patrick 14 (4)
Corners: Harrison County 4, St. Patrick 7
Saves: Harrison County (Bowlin) 4, St. Patrick (Lopez) 10
Records: Harrison County 6-7-2, St. Patrick 6-8-2