Defense dominates as teams play to scoreless tie

This early in the season, most soccer coaches are usually complaining about their defenses giving up easy goals and not playing as a unit yet.

That wasn't the complaint at Lexington Catholic Tuesday night as the No. 18 Knights played district rival and 20th-ranked Lexington Christian to a 0-0 tie.

Both defenses looked sound, it was their offensive counterparts that appeared to still need some work.

"I was actually pleased with how we played defensively, especially in the second half," new Catholic coach Greg Hilvers said. "If you don't get scored on, you can't lose."

If you don't score you don't win either, but both coaches seemed happy to settle for the scoreless tie.

"We defended as a team when we had to, but we'd like to improve our effort when we get the ball," new LCA coach Jim Tussey said. "My boys didn't back down at all, I was happy to see that."

Catholic did everything it could to score, outshooting Christian 10-2.

But keeper Dylan Fouts for the Eagles was the great equalizer, making seven saves on those 10 shots on goal.

One series just 10 minutes into the game had Fouts peppered with three straight shots in under 30 seconds, but the senior and his defense held firm to hold earn their fourth straight shutout of the young season.

LCA hasn't given up a goal yet this season.

"He made a lot of things look a lot easier than they were," Tussey said of Fouts.

The keeper helped keep the Knights off balance most of the game.

"He made a couple of fantastic saves and after he made those we didn't have any composure in front of the net," Hilvers said.

Catholic had plenty of chances. While 10 of its shots were on frame, it also had 13 more that went high or wide.

"My hat's off to their defense and goalkeeper," Hilvers said. "They held strong and they kept us outside and taking shots we normally pass up for something better."

At the other end, Lexington Catholic goalkeeper Charles Lambert had a comparatively easy time, facing only two shots.

Most of the coaches in the 27th District argue that it is the toughest in the state, with five of the six teams currently rated among the state's top 25 poll. Hilvers said this 0-0 tie was just further proof of the district's balance and dominance.

Tussey agreed. A scoreless tie definitely gives both teams something to prove come post-season.

"Lexington Catholic's got a pretty good team, and I think I've got a pretty good team, too," he said. "We'll both be a whole lot better in a couple of months."

At Lexington Catholic

Lexington Christian 0, Lexington Catholic 0

Goalkeepers — LCA: Dylan Fouts; LexCath: Charles Lambert

Records — Lex. Christian 3-0-1; Lex. Catholic 2-0-1