Riley Calhoon's goal with 30:08 left was all that was needed Thursday as Dunbar blanked visiting Lexington Catholic 1-0 in the soccer finals of the boys' 43rd District Tournament.
Both the second-ranked Bulldogs and 17th-ranked Knights advance to next week's 11th Region Tournament at Henry Clay.
"Our region, all eight teams could win it," Dunbar Coach Todd Bretz said. "It's got to be the most difficult region in the state."
Dunbar has won four matches in a row and 13 of 14.
The Bulldogs also beat Catholic (9-6-4) 1-0 on Sept. 6.
"I think we played well, but we had to play well, Bretz said. "Catholic played great tonight."
Dunbar (19-3) had a 7-3 shot advantage in a scoreless first half.
The Bulldogs had the best look, with about 2½ minutes left, when Shaquille Guiseppi eluded keeper Danny Veach and tried to slip in a short shot. Catholic's Trey Kuhn backed up the play and cleared the ball from near the goal line.
Catholic countered early in the second half.
Veach punted the ball more than 60 yards to give Tom Draper an instant opportunity. However, Draper's hard shot from the right portion of the penalty box was knocked aside by Dunbar keeper Fernando Ortiz.
"That was a great chance they had," Bretz said. "Our defense worked really hard today. And, defensively, when we play like that, we're pretty good."
Unofficially, Dunbar outshot the Knights 17-5.
"We just kept up the pressure, made sure no one got open turns. Because if they get a turn, get a shot off, who knows what happens?" said Calhoon, named the tourney MVP. "They're a great team and can finish, so just keep the pressure up."
Veach did his part for Catholic, stopping six shots.
"We started out really strong and then we kind of faded away as the game progressed," Knights Coach Jonathan Kincheloe said. "They really dominated the second half and they finished their chances. It's all about opportunities and we missed some early ones. ... That's a very good team and we're glad to be moving on. I'm glad this wasn't an elimination game."
Calhoon said the district title "means a lot to get that seed in the region," but added that his MVP award "really means nothing until the end."
That's because the Bulldogs have their eyes set beyond a district title.
"I think we're picking it up everyday. Every practice we work harder and harder," Calhoon said. "It just means that much to us. We want to go out of here with a win."
Dunbar 1, Lexington Catholic 0
Goal—D: Riley Calhoon. Goalkeepers—D: Fernando Ortiz; LC: Danny Veach. Records—D: 19-3; LC: 9-6-4.
All-tournament—Curtis Daniel, Dieudonne Bopata, Lafayette; Jackson Rowady, Andrew Yackzan, Ini Okpokho, Lexington Catholic; Ignacio Almanza, Matthew Spanyer, Fernando Ortiz, Dunbar. MVP—Riley Calhoon, Dunbar. (Tates Creek, Lexington Christian players to be named.)
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com