Often, teams celebrate their Senior Night on an evening where they happen to play an undermatched opponent. That wasn’t the case for the Paul Laurence Dunbar boys’ soccer team this season.
Dunbar hosted St. Henry, a perennial top-20 team out of the 9th Region, on Tuesday. The Bulldogs won 3-1, but the score didn’t reflect the competitiveness of the match. The score was 1-1 at halftime and the tie was not broken until Sullivan Curd and Pedro Jimenez scored goals in the 73rd and 74th minutes, respectively, to make the difference for Dunbar.
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“All of us work hard in practice and it just showed out there,” senior Jack Sheroan said. “We came out with energy and really took it to ’em in the second half.”
Dunbar has played St. Henry toward the end of its season almost every year since the program started.
“St. Henry is a fantastic program,” said Bulldogs Coach Todd Bretz, the state’s all-time wins leader with 450 in his 27-year career. “We like to play them at the end of the year because you’re always gonna get a great game. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but it gives us a good gauge of where we’re at headed into the tournament.”
The seniors on Boyle County’s girls’ soccer team have never lost a game to a 45th District opponent. That’s just one more streak that’ll be on the line when district tournament play kicks off next week.
Boyle County was the No. 1 team in this week’s Maher Rankings. The Rebels, who have won 11 straight, own the state’s best record at 20-1. Their lone loss was at Sacred Heart, 5-0, in early September.
Kylie Thompson, a senior who leads the Rebels with 33 goals this season, told the Advocate-Messenger that it didn’t feel real after she and four other seniors played their last game at Rebels Stadium in a 9-1 senior night win over Collins this week.
“It’s exciting to know that we still have that opportunity ahead,” Thompson said of the postseason.