The Somerset High School boys soccer team avenged their earlier loss to Pulaski County High School in a big way at the Maroons Soccer Field. After falling to the Maroons by a score of 2-1 at Clara Morrow on Aug. 28, Somerset demolished their cross-town district rivals 6-0 in their rematch on Monday.
"Honestly, there was not a lot of difference between this game and the last time we played (Pulaski County)," stated Somerset boys soccer coach Brian Blankenship. "We outshot (Pulaski) 37 to 11 in the last game, but we just couldn't put stuff on frame."
After a tight first half with the Briar Jumpers leading by a slim 1-0 lead, Somerset exploded for five more goals in the second half, and outshot the Maroons 25 to 10 in the entire contest.
In the 37th minute, Somerset's Chanler Edwards threw in from the left side - which was guided by a header from KJ Shand - setting up Derek Arias for the close-range score. That was the only score of the opening half, and Somerset outshot Pulaski County 11 to 4 in those first 40 minutes.
Three minutes into the second half, Somerset's KJ Shand hit a left-footed shot deep in the box to put the Briar Jumpers up 2-0. Shand got an assist from Josh Tucker.
In the 53rd minute, Tucker crossed to Jared Bastin for the close-range score. One minute later Derek Arias nailed a sharp-angled crossing shot that was inadvertently knocked in by a Pulaski County player for the on-goal to put Somerset up 4-0.
In the 68th minute, Tommy Wombles boomed a free kick from the left side to allow Arias to score from close range.
In the 72nd minute, Somerset's Josh Tucker scored from the top of the box to put an exclamation mark on the Briar Jumpers' 6-0 win over Pulaski County.
Somerset junior Derek Arias, who played for the Maroons last season, scored two goals on the night and set up the on-goal score. Arias was happy to get the cross-town win for his new team.
"It feels good to pull out the win, especially with a big win like that and putting the ball in the back of the net," Arias stated. "Last game, we weren't able to finish the ball and put it in the back of the net. And I think that was the big difference. This was a big win for us and it is just the beginning."
Somerset controlled the pace of the game for the entire 80 minutes, and never really allowed the Maroons to get many good shots at the goal.
"In this game, I challenged our team and I told them if they wanted it to go win it," Blankenship stated. "We felt kind of embarrassed the last time at our house, and we wanted to make sure that it did not happen again. The seniors kind of talked and said this is it."
"We wanted to make sure that we were not going to be the 'lap dog' of the district and the region," Blankenship continued. "We are going to fight, fight through it and we chose a line-up with a bunch of fighters and it really showed through tonight. We got a little lucky, but we haven't got a much of that luck this year . Some of our goals haven't fallen, but now we kind of feel like we deserved it."
Somerset (5-7-1) will travel to Casey County on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Pulaski County (4-5-1) will host South Laurel on Thursday, Sept. 19.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.