Soccer roundup: South Knox grabs defensive win

Staff photo by Tom GrahamNorth Knox’s Hayle Goff (23) and South Knox’s Sydney Riker (20) battle for a 50-50 ball in their girls soccer match Thursday at North Knox.

Spartans trip Warriors in county tilt

BICKNELL — Syndey Riker's unassisted goal in the 23rd minute proved to be enough to lift South Knox to a 1-0 Blue Chip Conference girls soccer victory over North Knox on Thursday.

Riker's goal, which came with 17:32 showing in the opening half, was the highlight of a defensive battle. Susanna Shepard made seven saves in goal for the Spartans (3-7, 1-1 BCC). For the Warriors (0-7, 0-3), Riley Petro made 12 saves.

“Our defensive line stepped up. I'm proud of how hard they worked,” North Knox coach Kelsey Houchin said. “We did not let them score in the second half, and the girls intensity was up the entire game. They never hung their head and played hard the whole 80 minutes. Defender Hailey Walls played one of her best games. Nothing could get past her. I have seen so much improvement with these girls, and I'm so proud of all of them.”

South Knox entertains Bloomfield at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, while North Knox hosts Lincoln at 5 p.m. Monday.

No. 9 South Knox

tops No. 14 Shoals

Evan Miller broke a scoreless tie midway through the second half, and the goals kept coming for No. 9 South Knox as the Spartans blanked No. 14 Shoals, 3-0, to claim at least a share of the Blue Chip Conference title in a boys soccer match between ranked Class A foes Thursday at South Knox.

After a scoreless first half, Miller scored on an assist from Avery Gerkin. Four minutes later, Tristen Dubbs took advantage of a defensive miscue by the Jug Rox, and he pushed one by the keeper. Eli Thomas tallied on a penalty kick in the closing 10 minutes to seal the win.

The Spartans (9-0) move to 5-0 in league play with only a late-season date with North Knox remaining. With the Warriors already having a conference loss, South Knox can finish no worse than a tie for first, but would win the outright title by beating its county rival.

“This was a bit of a slow start for us,” Spartans assistant coach Boris Vanjicki said. “Any time you play Shoals, no matter what the records, it's a grind-it-out type of game. It's pretty physical, and it may be ugly at times. At halftime I told our guys to be patient and just keep the pressure on. We created some nice chances in the first half, but I told them we just needed to put one in, and it would probably be enough to break their backs. It turned out that it was. Give credit to Shoals. They're short on numbers, but that was kind of our game plan. We wanted to wear them down in the second half, and that's sort of how it played out.”

Keeper Trevor Malott helped the Spartans to their eighth shutout of the season with six saves.

South Knox entertains Bloomfield at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

No. 19 Patriots

earn late draw

Austin Finch's header on a Wesley Murawski cross in the final minute helped Class A No. 19 Rivet salvage a 2-2 tie against Northeast Dubois in a Blue Chip Conference boys soccer match at St. Vincent's Field on Thursday.

Murawski had the first goal for the Patriots (2-5-2, 1-1-1 BCC) on a penalty kick in the 10th minute, but the Jeeps forged a 1-1 tie by halftime. Dubois seized the lead in the second half before Finch's dramatic late score knotted it, 2-2.

Keeper Aaron Wyatt finished with three saves.

“We controlled play in the first half and were rewarded with a generous penalty kick,” Rivet coach Thierry Schleiss said. “We kept pushing in the second half, but couldn't score. We had a weak pass to the goalie, and a Dubois player beat Wyatt to the ball and pushed it past Trevon Taylor, but we kept our composure. A great bravo to our players and the never-give-up attitude they showed.”

Rivet host Mount Carmel (Ill.) at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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