Southwestern rallies in second half for win

Steve Cornelius I CJ

The Southwestern High School Warriors celebrate a goal during their cross town match against the Maroons on Thursday night at Pulaski County High School. 

The Southwestern High School boys soccer team got themselves in a 1-0 hole after the opening half, but the Warriors were able to reel off three unanswered second-half goals for the 3-1 win over the Maroons on Thursday at the Maroons' Soccer Field.

Down 1-0, Southwestern junior John Noyola scored the equalizer at the net after receiving a pass from Carson Albright in the 49th minute.

After four attempts at goal by Riley Whitis, Juan Contrares, Carson Albright, and John Noyola, the Warriors finally nailed the go-ahead score in the 73rd minute. Southwestern junior Carson Albright delivered the go-ahead goal when he scored off a penalty kick with seven minutes left in the contest. Southwestern junior John Noyola drew the foul in the box to set up the Warriors' penalty kick.

With less than a minute left in the match, the Warriors got an insurance score by Juan Contrares. After a Warrior shot was deflected by Pulaski County keeper Riley Howell, Southwestern senior Dylan Stevens took a rebound attempt that was deflected again by Howell. However, third times was charms for the Warriors after Contrares finished the off the score at close range.

"We played fantastic in the second half," Southwestern boys soccer coach Sean McBride stated. "We played like I wanted to in the first half. We had a game plan, but we didn't really execute it at all in the first half."

"In the second half, we really moved the ball around, worked it out wide, worked it in from there, and it really created problems for (Pulaski's) defense," McBride explained. "I couldn't be more proud of my guys, and they stepped up."

In the sixth minute of the match, Pulaski County junior Jaxon Gambill had his penalty kick shot blocked by Warrior keeper Caleb Seward. But less than a minute later Gambill got redemption when he scored at goal after getting a pass from Zack Rowe. The Maroons took that early 1-0 lead into the halftime intermission.

After being outshot 5 to 4 in the opening half, Southwestern dominated the second half by outshooting the Maroons 10 to 3.

"Chase Eastham did a phenomenal job of keeping our defense organized, stepping up and winning balls," McBride stated. "He doesn't get a lot of credit sometimes. He is key for us back there and he got the ball out of there quick."

Southwestern (4-3-2) will travel to Boyle County on Monday, Sept. 9, play in the, while Pulaski County (4-3-1) will host Taylor County on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.

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