RICHMOND — One goal was enough for Henry Clay, but Paul Laurence Dunbar needed more to advance Thursday in the semifinals of the boys' 11th Region soccer tournament.
Amie Mabika's goal with 10:53 left to play gave Henry Clay a 1-0 victory over Madison Central.
Ricky Clemente's hat trick helped Dunbar come from behind to down Woodford County 4-2.
Finals are set for Saturday. The scheduled noon start will be adjusted to a later time because of ACT testing that day.
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No. 4 Henry Clay 1, Madison Central 0: The Blue Devils did everything but score for nearly 70 minutes.
Then, Mabika found the range off a free kick from Collin Rose.
Set up on the back post, the 6-foot-5 Mabika presented a big target.
"Really, I would say we had most of the possession in the game and we just couldn't put one away," Mabika said. "... We have to take advantage of set pieces. I'm the tallest one on the team and the coach has been getting on me to get on one, so I had to put one in the goal.
"I trapped it with my thigh and then I finished it."
Henry Clay (18-1-2) won its seventh match in a row and dominated possession throughout, outshooting the Indians 23-5.
However, Central had the best opportunity to score in the first half, on a counter.
Peyton Netherton took the shot, from the top of the 18, and was on target. Blue Devils keeper David Vasquez was able to deflect the ball over the end line.
"We've been through, luckily and fortunately, some games throughout the season where some teams have done similar type things," Henry Clay Coach Tim Bernardi said of Madison Central packing things in on defense. "We felt like we had some opportunities; we just missed some opportunities in the first half and we've just got to keep shooting. Something will go in. Fortunate enough that one finally got the back of the net."
Henry Clay had plenty of looks in the second half, culminating with Mabika's shot.
It just took a long while.
"We started getting nervous a little bit," Mabika said. "But with the quality of the team that we have, you know that we're going to get one sooner or later. And we got one."
Central's Indians (17-5-1) had a six-match winning streak snapped.
"We felt like we dominated possession from start to finish," Bernardi said. "We just couldn't get the goal. They kind of sat back on us and hunkered down and played some really tough defense all over the field. They compact(ed). They set about eight guys back. Trying to work the ball through that wall, they did a phenomenal job of really making us earn the one goal we did get."
Vasquez got the shutout in goal.
"We executed our game plan," Indians Coach Evan Sutherland said. "At halftime it was like 'we've just got to come out and be brave; we've got to come out and play.' And really in the second half we did. We defended really well. The keeper came up with some big saves.
"But we're a young team, and (Henry clay) is an experienced team with juniors and seniors. We've got mostly juniors and sophomores, and playing quite a few freshmen. So for us it's good experience coming back for next year."
No. 3 Dunbar 4, No. 7 Woodford County 2: The Yellowjackets (14-5-1) took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Christian Ramires just over five minutes into the game.
It stayed that way until 42 seconds remained in the half.
Clemente got hauled down in the box and was awarded a penalty kick, which he nailed.
Then he put the Bulldogs up 2-1 with 37:42 left, cleaning up a carom after the goalkeeper dropped a long ball.
"It helped a lot," Clemente said of his penalty kick, "because going into halftime tied 1-1 really helped us out."
Of his second goal, he added, the goalkeeper "just dropped it, so had to take advantage any way we could."
Harrison Grabmeyer scored what would be the game-winner with 331/2 minutes left.
Ramires countered for Woodford with 24:28 left to make it a 3-2 game.
But Clemente clinched things, assisted by Tyler Joy-Brandon, with 11:48 to go.
"We got very fortunate. Woodford County, they're a very good team," said Todd Bretz, coach of the Bulldogs (16-4-3). "They're very well coached. They took it to us the first part of the game. Finally we got our feet underneath us and we were able to get some passes connected and finally get a little bit of momentum."
"First half, they had the better of the play," Joy-Brandon said. "Second half, me and the midfield, I think we really defended them nicely, which is all we needed to do, and those turned into counterattacks which gave us goals."
"We played very well except for maybe we were a bit naive on a couple of plays," Yellowjackets Coach Fonyam Atanga said. "And then on another few plays, we were our worst enemy. ... We still have the mental strength, after going down 3-1, to fight back. And then another mental mistake, leaving the one guy you don't want to leave unmarked in our box for an easy goal.
"I'm proud of the way my guys played, but I think for another season, a second season in a row, we've underachieved."
Henry Clay 1, Madison Central 0
Goal — HC: Amie Mabika. Goalkeepers — MC: Levi Knutson; HC: David Vasquez. Records — Madison Central 17-5-1; Henry Clay 18-1-2.
Dunbar 4, Woodford County 2
Goals — WC: Christian Ramires 2; PLD: Ricky Clemente 2, Harrison Grabmeyer. Goalkeepers — WC: Servando Becerra; PLD: Travis Shuler. Records — Woodford County 14-5-1; Dunbar 16-4-3