Soccer season gets underway Monday and Lexington schools wasted no time filling up the schedule with meaty games for fans in the city.
While some of the boys' teams will begin their season Monday, the highlight of week one is the Lexington Soccer Showcase, a two-day event that starts Friday.
It's less a tournament and more a gathering of quality teams. Three of last year's state semifinalists — Paul Dunbar, South Oldham and reigning champion Bowling Green — will compete.
Bowling Green beat Dunbar 2-0 en route to that title. The two square off in the second game of a doubleheader at Henry Clay at 8 p.m. Friday.
Also on Friday, South Oldham, 8th Region champ two of the past three years, takes on host Bryan Station at 6 p.m.
Bowling Green and Henry Clay get together bright and early Saturday morning — 8:30 a.m. — for a potential state tournament preview on the Blue Devils' field.
Tates Creek will host Bowling Green at 5 p.m. Saturday. It opens its season Friday against Ryle at 6 p.m.
Lafayette starts its year on the road at West Jessamine before returning for the showcase, its highlight game occurring with South Oldham at Henry Clay at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Lexington Catholic, Lexington Christian and Sayre don't compete in the showcase but still face their share of prominent foes.
Reigning 12th Region champion Boyle County comes to LexCath for a 7:30 night game on Thursday. Bryan Station visits LCA at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the first battle between city squads.
Sayre opens at Boyle on Tuesday before hosting Madison Southern at 6 p.m. Thursday.
LEXINGTON SOCCER SHOWCASE
(All times p.m. unless noted)
FRIDAY — At Bryan Station: Bryan Station vs. South Oldham, 6; Lafayette vs. Henderson Co., 8. At Henry Clay: Henry Clay vs. Ryle, 6; Dunbar vs. Bowling Green, 8. At Tates Creek: Tates Creek vs. Boone Co., 6
SATURDAY — At Bryan Station: Bryan Station vs. Boone Co., 8:30 a.m.; Dunbar vs. Henderson Co., 10:30 a.m.; Bryan Station vs. Ryle, 5; Lafayette vs. Boone Co., 7. At Henry Clay: Henry Clay vs. Bowling Green, 8:30 a.m.; Lafayette vs. South Oldham, 10:30 a.m.; Henry Clay vs. Henderson Co., 5; Dunbar vs. South Oldham, 7. At Tates Creek: Tates Creek vs. Ryle, 8:30 a.m.; Tates Creek vs. Bowling Green, 5
Girls' first week
Many of the girls teams in town kick things off with the Fayette County Spectacular, a weeklong round-robin tournament that culminates in a championship game on Saturday.
A full schedule with groupings can be found below.
Bryan Station is the only public school not participating in the FCSS. It opens with Montgomery County at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Sacred Heart, regarded as one of the finest girls' teams nationwide in the preseason, travels to Lexington Catholic Monday. The Valkyries' four state titles are second behind South Oldham (7) in state history.
"Traditionally we open with Sacred Heart because they have one of, if not the strongest program in the state," LexCath Coach Terry Quigley said in a text to the Herald-Leader. "It is a great opportunity to learn what we need to work on and a great way to start a season."
Lexington Christian hosts 12th Region fixture West Jessamine at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Sayre plays its first home game against Marion County at 2 p.m. Saturday.
FAYETTE COUNTY SOCCER SPECTACULAR
(All times p.m. unless noted)
MONDAY — At Dunbar: Clark County vs. Campbell Co., 6.; Tates Creek vs. Bishop Brossart, 8
TUESDAY — At Dunbar: Bishop Brossart vs. Woodford Co., 6; Dunbar vs. Ryle, 8. At Lafayette: Lafayette vs. Campbell Co., 6; Henry Clay vs. Boone Co., 8
WEDNESDAY — At Dunbar: Henry Clay vs. Boyle Co., 6; Tates Creek vs. Woodford Co., 8. At Lafayette: Lafayette vs. Clark Co., 6; Madison Southern vs. Ryle, 8
THURSDAY — At Dunbar: Boyle Co. vs. Boone Co., 6; Dunbar vs. Madison Southern, 8
SATURDAY — At Dunbar: Group A winner vs. Group D winner, 8 a.m. (semifinals no. 1); Group B winner vs. Group C winner, 10 a.m. (semifinals no. 2); Group A runner-up vs. Group D runner-up, noon; Group B runner-up vs. Group C runner-up, 2; Group A last place vs. Group D last place, 4; Group B last place vs. Group C last place, 6; Semifinals winners, 8 p.m. (championship)