High School Sports

Henry Clay ties Tates Creek 1-1 in boys' high school soccer

Tates Creek's Reece Roubic, left, and Chris Hunt of host Henry Clay tangled while trying to get control of the ball in the first half Thursday night. Neither team scored until the second half.
Tates Creek's Reece Roubic, left, and Chris Hunt of host Henry Clay tangled while trying to get control of the ball in the first half Thursday night. Neither team scored until the second half. Lexington Herald-Leader

In the span of four minutes Thursday night, Matt Harris went from goat to hero in a battle of two top 10 boys' soccer teams.

No. 3 Henry Clay rallied to tie visiting and sixth-ranked Tates Creek 1-1, with Harris involved in both goals.

He was the beaten defender when Tates Creek's Pacific Mutayongwa scored with 8½ minutes left.

But with 4½ minutes left, Harris scored the equalizer.

"The first one was my fault, so I had to make it up for the team," said Harris, a senior. "Just the right place at the right time; put it in."

Henry Clay (6-2-2) snapped a two-match losing streak.

"It means a lot," Harris said of the tie. "We've dropped two ... games in a row, so we just wanted to come out hard."

The Commodores (7-1-3) are unbeaten in their last six matches (3-0-3).

Henry Clay had the better of a scoreless first half, outshooting the Commodores 8-3.

"I wasn't happy with the first half," Tates Creek Coach Brandon Turek said. "I thought we gave them the first half. The second half, I was very proud of the way they came out and fought for every inch."

A game that included four yellow cards became increasingly physical, with the Blue Devils outshooting Creek only 10-8 in the second half.

"It was probably one of our better games in terms of possession that we've had in a while, and we started slowly getting people healthy and back in the game," Devils Coach Tim Bernardi said. "They came out and scored on us with about eight minutes left. I thought our guys played hard tonight and I was proud of the way they played, and Tates Creek's a good team, and we knew that."

Creek scored first, when Mutayongwa got past Harris.

"I didn't know how I'm going to play it. ... I earn it. I fought for it and I was really wanting it all," Mutayongwa said. "That's how I make it."

Once past Harris, Mutayongwa was alone against goalkeeper John Paul Jikang.

"I won the ball for a first time. The second defender wanted to come in ... and the goalie wanted to come also," said Mutayongwa, who emigrated from the Congo seven months ago. "I just placed it where he couldn't find it."

The shot was a riser that found the top of the net.

"I should have stepped (up), but I guess I made up for it," Harris said.

That he did, drilling in the rebound of a corner kick from about 6 yards out past goalkeeper Evan Adams.

Adams finished with eight saves to Jikang's four.

"I knew we would send it in back post. I knew their keeper would come out and bobble it," Harris said. "So I just crashed the goal ... just got lucky, I guess."

Sometimes it's better to be lucky — and good.

Tates Creek 1, Henry Clay 1

Goals—TC: Pacific Mutayongwa. HC: Matt Harris. Goalkeepers—TC: Evan Adams; HC: John Paul Jikang. Records—TC: 7-1-3; HC: 6-2-2.

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