Brian Lock is not your typical forward.
"Usually people expect forwards to be fast and quick and I am neither one of those," Lock said smiling.
But the Paul Laurence Dunbar senior was just fast enough and scored both goals for the sixth-ranked Bulldogs in a 2-0 win over host Lafayette in the semifinals of the 27th District Boys Soccer Tournament on Thursday night.
"He's unpredictable," Coach Todd Bretz said of Lock. "A lot of times he doesn't do what he's supposed to do and that works for him. That unpredictability and determination are really what set him apart."
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Ten minutes into the contest, Lock worked his way around three Generals defenders and drew out keeper Curtis Daniel just enough to send it into the net.
It was the first goal the No. 18 Generals had allowed since Sept. 25.
That score seemed to stir Lafayette, which worked hard to retaliate, but couldn't against a Bulldogs midfield and defense that have allowed only 15 goals all season. They earned their 11th shutout with the win.
Coach Chris Grimm was happy with his team's effort.
"We fought them step for step the second half," he said. "I couldn't be more proud of the guys and the way they fought."
Lock closed the door on the Generals with less than four minutes left in the game, scoring from 15 yards out on a feed from Kevin Kral.
"I couldn't have asked for a more perfect pass," Lock said. "Give him all the credit on that one."
The Bulldogs will face East Jessamine, a 1-0 winner over rival West Jessamine in Thursday's other semifinal, on Saturday night.
Both teams will advance to next week's region tournament, but look for Dunbar (15-2-3) to come out firing. A 1-0 loss to the Jaguars was the Bulldogs' last loss this season; since then they've won 11 straight.
Lafayette's 11 wins almost tripled its total from last season and Grimm expects his team to keep improving.
"I told the guys before the season that I thought we'd surprise some people and we did that," he said. "Our seniors' legacy is definitely intact. They brought Lafayette soccer back into the state picture."
No. 10 East Jessamine 1, West Jessamine 0: At this time of the year, it's not about how pretty the play is or how perfectly the fundamentals are carried out. It's about surviving and advancing.
That's especially true when you're a team playing its city rival in an elimination game.
The Jaguars didn't play their best, but they played well enough to win.
"We didn't play badly, we just didn't possess the ball," Coach Tom Morgan said. "That's what I hate when we play West because there's so much emotion that goes into it. They're a nice, good, physical team and we don't handle that well."
East got its lone goal on Sam Miller's penalty kick 10 minutes into the first half. West keeper Jake Hedrick got a yellow card for pulling on the offensive player as they went up for a ball. He had to leave the game for the penalty and sub Chad Moberley couldn't get to Miller's shot in time.
The Colts, who got a big, last-second win over Lexington Catholic in the first round, had a three-game win streak snapped. They had several chances in the second half, when they outshot East 5-2. Twice in the game, they had dangerous shots pop off a post.
East Jessamine 1, West Jessamine 0
Goals—EJ: Sam Miller.
Goalkeepers—WJ: Jake Hedrick, Chad Moberley; EJ: Dale Davore.
Records—East Jessamine 17-3-2, West Jessamine 9-9-4.
Paul Laurence Dunbar 2, Lafayette 0
Goals—PLD: Brian Lock 2.
Goalkeepers—L: Curtis Daniel; PLD: Taylor Nossokoff.
Records—Lafayette 11-5-6, Paul Dunbar 15-2-3.