Colts take title in shootout

BEREA — Nathan Andrews knows his flaws. He knows he's pretty tightly wound.

But as the chaos of a region championship game gone to sudden-death penalty kicks swirled around the West Jessamine coach, he felt nothing but peace and serenity.

"I had this nice calm," Andrews said. "My blood pressure is usually through the roof. ... But I had this calm throughout the whole game knowing our guys were going to take care of business and get it done.

"It's their season. I knew they were going to do what needed to be done to win this game."

The No. 15 Colts did exactly that Thursday night at Madison Southern, finding a way to win on sudden-death penalty kicks for their first-ever region title by upsetting No. 7 Lexington Catholic 2-1.

West, the 14th Region winner, moves on to host a Sub-Section 7 game against No. 4 Henry Clay on Tuesday.

They did it behind goalkeeper Heath Crist, who blocked the final two Catholic penalty kicks in the first shootout.

"You've just got to hope you can get one and I was lucky enough to get two," said Crist, who blocked the shots of Grant Hinkebein and Logan Cash.

"God's given him the size of 6-4 for a reason," Andrews said of Crist. "He's come so far. His confidence is high and he doesn't want this season to be over."

Neither did senior Randy Troyer, who made the final PK for the Colts. A wide left shot by the Knights' Troy Schneck sealed the win for West Jessamine, which won its ninth straight.

"This feels amazing," said forward Ryan Moberly, who scored the Colts' first goal with nine minutes remaining in the first half. "Absolutely amazing."

It's even more special that it's a feeling no West Jessamine boys' team has ever felt before.

"The last three years we've lost in the first round of districts and all year we've been saying that this is our year to go really far and we're on our way," Crist said.

West had the upper hand early after the Moberly goal and the Colts had three shots to none in the first half. They held the Knights without a shot on goal until 26 minutes remained in regulation.

But the Knights made their second shot on goal count, with Tony Schwab pushing a free kick into the back of the goal to tie it up 1-1.

Neither team could connect through 30 more minutes of extra soccer and they remained knotted after the first five PKs.

Defending region champion Catholic was disappointed in the loss, but Coach Greg Hilvers said they shouldn't be disappointed in the season.

"When the sting dies down a little bit, they can focus on the positives," he said. "They had a fine season and I'm extremely proud of them."

West has at least two more wins to go before it reaches the State Tournament in Georgetown, but it's a destination on the team's minds.

"We're going to take every game one at a time, but our focus is to get to Georgetown," Andrews said. "We've got the talent. We've got the team and things are starting to fall our way."e_SClBWest Jessamine 2, Lexington Catholic 1 (shootout)

Goals—LC: Tony Schwab; WJ: Ryan Moberly. Goalkeepers—LC: Andrew Wagner, Charles Lambert; WJ: Heath Crist.

Shootout—Lexington Catholic: Patrick Roberts (made); Robbie Gorham (made); Brandon Johnson (made); Grant Hinkebein (blocked); Logan Cash (blocked); Schwab (made); Chandler Ware (made); Troy Schneck (wide left). West Jessamine: Billy Congleton (made); Aubrey Maddox (made); Jacob Cox (off post); Jonathan Rehner (made); Adam Howard (blocked); Ryan Moberly (made); Sam Overbee (made); Randy Troyer (made).

Records—Lexington Catholic 14-7-1, West Jessamine 15-6-2.