Rebels block West Jessamine

DANVILLE — Vann Pollack doesn't need a costume for Halloween.

He's already Superman.

The goalkeeper was a superhero for Boyle County, making nine tough saves to help guide the Rebels to a 1-0 upset win over No. 15 West Jessamine and on to their first-ever state soccer final four.

"I want to know what he ate for breakfast. Good grief," Coach Cris McCann said of the junior. "That's the best game of that kid's life."

If it weren't for Pollack and a couple of nifty pick-ups by his defense, it might be West heading for Georgetown.

The Colts dominated statistically, outshooting the Rebels 12-3. Boyle didn't even get a second-half shot off until 5:22 remained in the game.

But the shots that Pollack didn't nab went wide right, wide left and up over the goal.

"We possessed and possessed and possessed and dominated the game, but couldn't find the back of the net," Colts Coach Nathan Andrews said. "Kudos to their keeper, he played a heck of a game."

Pollack didn't know what happened. He knows he saw shots flying at him all night from the powerful West offense and he knows that he somehow got a hand on them or got a lucky break as balls clanked off the post.

"It was crazy," Pollack said. "Those shots at me were just rips. It took a lot of effort for the defense and some reflexes for me, I guess."

More than once he saw the season flash before his eyes as a ball raced toward him.

"There were a lot of shots that scared me to death," Pollack said. "Their offense is really good."

But so was Pollack and his defense.

"He stole the show," teammate Nolan Stone said of the keeper. "That performance was absolutely insane."

Stone did his part to help the Boyle show go on.

Will Upton hit Stone with a quick through ball down the middle then Stone outraced two defenders to put the ball in the back of the goal and give the Rebels a 1-0 lead that they carried into halftime.

"It was mostly Will with the great pass and from that pass I was able to hit the shot and I nailed it," he said.

That early goal was nice for the Rebels, but bad for their coach, who had to watch 35 more minutes of soccer to eke out the win.

"My stomach was killing me," McCann said. "We knew if we got an early goal, we would see what happened, that anything was possible."

Stone and the Boyle County players looked shocked as fans raced around and toward them after the game.

"It is absolute chaos," Stone said. "What an amazing feeling. These past few years, we couldn't even get out of districts and now, wow. What a roller-coaster ride, an awesome roller-coaster ride."

The ride ended for the Colts, who shocked ranked Lexington powers like Paul Dunbar, Catholic and Henry Clay to advance to their first-ever final eight.

"This stings and it burns now and it hurts like crazy, but hopefully in a week or so we will be able to sit down and reminisce about what a great season we've had," Andrews said. "They've accomplished a lot and I'm so proud of them."

Boyle County 1, West Jessamine 0

Goals — BC: Nolan Stone. Goalkeepers—WJ: Heath Crist: BC: Vann Pollack.

Records—West Jessamine 16-7-2, Boyle County 15-4-3.