Lafayette just wanted a win to start district play on Tuesday.
It came away with its biggest victory in 43rd District history as the flood gates opened for a 5-0 win over No. 24 Lexington Catholic at home.
The Generals, ranked 14th in the latest Maher Rankings, earned their first win over LexCath since 2011. In the five games between Lafayette’s last win — a 4-1 victory over the Knights in 2011 (when both teams were members of the 27th District) — and Tuesday’s victory, Lafayette had lost to the Knights by a combined score of 11-3.
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It was Lafayette’s first shutout of LexCath since a 2-0 win on Sept. 16, 2010. Daniel Medina was in goal for the Generals.
“In all my years here we haven’t beaten Catholic, so this is a great way to start my senior season in districts,” said Nick SirLouis, a center midfielder who got the scoring started with a straight-on look from about 30 yards out in the 47th minute.
SirLouis assisted on Lafayette’s next goal a minute later, finding Evan Bunch for a header in the box. Bunch, a senior center forward, scored again in the 55th minute off an assist from Max Nusbacher.
LexCath keeper Jacob Roberts just missed deflecting a Sydney Lee goal that put Lafayette ahead 4-0 in the 57th minute. Gavin Burt capped the scoring with a tip in the box off a Roberts deflection.
“After I put the second one in, I honestly thought I was gonna stop there,” Bunch said. “Their defense just kind of slowed down and we kept playing these through balls in and putting them in one after another. It just felt so good after scoring none in the first half.”
Lafayette was the aggressor out of the gate, at one point leading LexCath 7-0 in shot attempts. If not for some strong early saves by Roberts, the Generals may have had a halftime lead.
Generals Coach Chris Grimm said his team was on its heels against Henry Clay last week. Lafayette came away with a 2-1 victory but was not as intense as he would have liked.
The Generals answered the call Tuesday.
“Last year when we played Lexington Catholic, they beat us and we felt like we didn’t really show up for that game,” Grimm said. “ ... So we were like, ‘All right, if we’re gonna do down, we’re gonna go down swinging. We’re gonna be as aggressive as we can be and really take it to ’em. We’re gonna make them stop us.’”
At least for one night, the Generals couldn’t be stopped. But the 43rd District doesn’t offer any chances to take a breath; case in point, Lafayette’s next game is a road battle with Paul Laurence Dunbar, the No. 10 team in the state according to the latest Maher Rankings.
“In this district, everything is a battle,” Grimm said. “It doesn’t matter what year, it doesn’t matter what the talent is on any team. You never take anything for granted in this district. It’s so hard every year.”