Patriots work past Pioneers; Rangers and Jeeps exit

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

The area boys soccer teams were out in full force as they played multiple semifinal games across southern Indiana Wednesday night. Some were successful, while some saw their season come to an end. But either way we have some recaps to get you caught up on all the latest results from the race toward sectional.

Patriots limp past Pioneers: The injury bug struck Heritage Hills hard on Wednesday night, as a team that was already dealing with lingering health issues saw a multitude of players hit the deck hard in their game against Boonville. But the Patriots were able to overcome their health hurdle and earned a 2-1 win over the Pioneers to extend their postseason run for another game.

Patriots coach Joe Asbury ended up playing 19 total players and was relieved to “get out alive” after the dust settled.

“Tonight was a gutsy, gritty performance where we were able to get a win when we didn’t play our best,” said Asbury. “We went really deep in our bench, played a lot of freshmen and sophomores. They really did some great things for us.”

The Pioneers scored first after a fastbreak sequence penetrated the Patriots’ defense and led to a one-on-one at the net. But sophomore Jose Lara responded in kind with a shot up to the crossbar where Boonville’s goalie couldn’t reach to tie the game before the half.

The Patriots played the ball on the ground more in the second half to take advantage of their speed, and senior Zach Fortune drew a foul which he turned into a penalty kick score for the 2-1 final lead. The Patriots will play Evansville Memorial in Saturday’s sectional final at Reitz.

“They’re really quick,” said Asbury. “They got some kids that can fly. We’re going to put a game together where we got some kids on the field that can defend their speed. If we can absorb their pressure and not make mistakes, hopefully we can put ourselves in a situation where we might get a counterattack and do something with that.”

Rangers shutout by Rebels: Forest Park was unable to get any offensive traction as they lost 5-0 to South Spencer on Wednesday night in Reo. The Rebels put in a goal in the first few minutes and finished the first half with four mores scores as the Rangers struggled to get a solid foothold in the game.

“We tried to carry it up the gut, but we couldn’t get any shots off in the first half,” said Rangers coach Mike Foerester. “We just didn’t have any offensive presence, and they were cleaning us up on the midfield, getting some counterattacks. That’s when they were putting their goals in.”

The Rangers came out hard in the second half and did a better job of advancing the ball and getting shots on the goal. But South Spencer’s’ defense was too strong to crack, and Forest Park wasn’t able to make up the five-goal deficit.

The team was disappointed they couldn’t overcome their early mistakes, but Foerester sounded off the season by crediting the Forest Park seniors with being the driving force behind the Rangers’ success this season.

“They’ve been role models for this entire team,” he said. “These guys packed a punch for us, and it’ll be hard to lose them next year.”

Jeeps fall to Vikings: Northeast Dubois gained an early lead in their semifinal game against North Posey, but the Vikings used a triplet of scores in the second half to roar back for a 3-1 win.

Freshman forward Noah Betz scored the lone goal for the Jeeps at the tail end of a through ball from junior forward Ben Schepers.




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