It hasn't been an easy year for Lexington Catholic.
It took nearly the entire season for the No. 23 Knights to get above .500.
They started the year with 13 seniors and had two go down quickly with knee injuries. There was also a fractured orbital bone, a broken nose and countless illnesses.
"The list goes on and on and on, but through it all they've responded in a positive way to adversity and never put their heads down," Coach Greg Hilvers said.
So it didn't surprise him when Catholic plowed through difficulties again and upset No. 4 East Jessamine 4-1 in the semifinals of the 27th District Tournament Tuesday night at Lexington Christian.
"The adversity we've dealt with is incredible and to see us pull off a victory like that, there's no greater feeling," said senior B.J. Hall, who scored two goals for Catholic, which avenged a 2-1 loss earlier this season to the Jaguars.
The Knights also got goals from Hunter Porter and Hunter Hamilton.
East Jessamine's score came on a penalty kick by Zac Brown with 45 seconds left in the first half to make it 2-1.
The Jags had as many shots on goal (10) as Catholic did, but they couldn't get past keeper Matt Wagner and the Knights' defense.
Catholic will meet No. 18 Paul Dunbar, a 2-0 winner over West Jessamine, in the title game on Thursday.
During the regular season, the Knights and the Bulldogs played to a scoreless tie.
No. 18 Paul Dunbar 2, West Jessamine 0: The Bulldogs' seniors didn't want to go down as those seniors, the first ones to never advance out of the district tournament.
"We learned from our mistakes last year and picked it up this year," Alex Gomez said.
They'd been upset in the district tournament (including last year by West Jessamine) two straight years and didn't want it to happen again.
They made sure it didn't early, scoring a quick, surprise goal on a free kick.
Gomez grabbed the ball up quickly and served it into the box for Daniel Marnatti to slam it in just nine minutes into the game.
Less than 14 minutes later, Gomez found fellow senior Neil Sharma, who drew out the keeper and slammed home a second goal.
"We got that quick second goal right after that, and it put them back on their heels," Gomez said.
The Bulldogs have allowed a region-low 11 goals this season and had seven shutouts coming into the game.
"We defended pretty well," Coach Todd Bretz said. "(The Colts) are explosive, dangerous, and they've got a lot of great players and we were able hold them and contain them a little bit."
Paul Dunbar 2, West Jessamine 0
Goals—Daniel Marnatti, Neil Sharma. Goalkeepers—WJ: Chris Samaan and Chad Moberley; PLD: Taylor Nossokoff.
Records: Dunbar 8-3-4, West Jessamine 12-6.
Lexington Catholic 4, East Jessamine 1
Goals—LC: Hunter Hamilton, B.J. Hall 2, Hunter Porter; EJ: Zac Brown. Goalkeepers—LC: Matt Wagner; EJ: Taylor Higgs.
Records—Lex. Catholic 10-6-2, E. Jessamine 10-3-5.
Tates Creek upsets No. 9 Henry Clay
Unranked Tates Creek upset No. 9 Henry Clay 1-0 Tuesday night. The lone goal of the game came from Hayato Yoshida.
In the two teams' only regular-season meeting, Henry Clay shut out Tates Creek 4-0.