The Somerset Christian School boys soccer program and their longtime head coach Ben Stein have won 10 Kentucky Christian Athletic Association state soccer titles, won a National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) national soccer title and a NACA national soccer runner-up crown. But on Tuesday - at Cougars Soccer Field - Somerset Christian pulled off their biggest win in their newly short membership in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association with a 4-2 cross-town rivalry win over Southwestern High School. It was also the Cougars first cross-town win in only their second season in the KHSAA
"It did take a fews years (in the KCAA) to get the confidence to win the big games," Stein stated. "We don't have the arrogance of knowing we are good - like some of the big teams in the KHSAA. We are good, but we got to play to show some of these other teams that we are just as good."
"I'm excited for the win," Stein explained. "Now we have got to learn how to play 80 minutes of solid soccer. If we do, we are a very okay team."
With a 2-2 tie in the 72nd minute of the match, Somerset Christian sophomore Arnold Holland scored from close range off a left-side free kick from junior Samuel Phelps to put the Cougars up 3-2.
Four minutes later, the Cougars - essentially - closed out the match after senior Luke Atwood scored from close range for his second score of the match. Junior Noah Brummett took a medium range shot that was blocked by Southwestern sophomore keeper Gavin Lawson. The ball remained unsecured in the penalty box when Atwood took a short shot that was blocked again by Lawson. But on the Atwood's next attempt, he got the ball past Lawson for the 4-2 go-ahead goal.
"We started to play a little softer, and Southwestern scored two goals on us after we had that 2-0 lead," Stein stated. "I am so proud of our guys, because they didn't just realize that Southwestern came back and tied the score, but they knew they could play better soccer. They did play better in the last 20 minutes of the match and scored those two great goals."
After outshooting the Warriors 9 to 4 in the first half, Somerset Christian held a slight 1-0 lead at the intermission. In the 16th minute of the first half, Somerset Christian sophomore junior Braedon Meadows dribbled the ball deep into the penalty box to score after taking a pass from junior Elijah Ford.
In the 54th minute, the Cougars took a commanding 2-0 lead when Atwood scored at goal off a Meadows' assist.
However, the Warriors came roaring back midway through the second half to score the equalizer.
In the 64th minute, Southwestern junior Jack Wilson put a penalty kick in the lower right side of the goal. The PK score was set up by sophomore Ethan Warren, who picked up the foul in the penalty box.
Five minutes later, the Warriors scored again to tie the match at 2-2. Southwestern senior Hayden Shadoan passed off to junior Rami El-Halawany, who drove the ball all the way to Cougars sophomore keeper Charles Scott. El-Halawany punched the ball in past the Scott from close range.
For the match, Somerset Christian outshot Southwestern 23 to 13. With that many shots on goal, both team's keepers had a busy night. Southwestern keeper Gavin Lawson had 10 saves, while Cougars keeper Charles Scott had five saves.
Offensively for Southwestern, Rami El-Halawany had four attempts, while Jack Wilson, Mohammed Abd, Ryan Vu, and Dante Cabalero all had one attempt each. For Somerset Christian, Noah Brummett had six shot attempts, Braedon Meadows had five attempts, Atwood had three attempts and Arnold Holland had two attempts. Samuel Phelps, Elijah Brummett, Kaden Johnson, Elijah Ford, Jacob Grippe, David Reese, and Caleb Mangar all had one attempt each.
Southwestern (4-3-1) will travel to Boyle County High School on Thursday, while Somerset Christian (3-3) will host North Laurel High School on Thursday.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.