If not for a penalty kick, Thursday's Senior Night would have been a much happier time at Lexington Catholic.
Amie Mabika converted a P.K., though, vaulting No. 3 Henry Clay to a 1-0 victory over the No. 29 Knights.
The match was the regular-season finale for both teams.
"I think tonight we played extremely hard; really, really well," said Tim Bernardi, coach of the Blue Devils (14-1-2). "The one thing I think we lacked obviously was finishing. ... Unfortunately we couldn't find the back of the net. That's what we kind of stressed at halftime was we can possess and have a nice, pretty style of play. But unless the ball goes in the back of the net it doesn't count. So we've got to value those goals and get some more balls in the back of the net."
Mabika's goal was enough, though.
He got his chance with 4:30 left in the first half, when teammate Zach Whitehouse got hauled down inside the penalty box. Mabika made the most of his opportunity, zeroing in on the low right corner of the net.
Catholic (9-9-2) stayed close thanks to an outstanding effort in goal by Jacob Roberts. Nick Dishion fired from close range about 12 minutes into the game, but was denied by Roberts.
Roberts later made a diving save of a Thomas Ueland missile, punching the ball aside.
The Knights keeper had more left in the second half, stoning Dishion on a one-on-one and making a leaping grab of a Chris Hunt sizzler.
"The key was just playing our game, passing it around and moving, and getting our shots off," Hunt said of Henry Clay's domination of scoring chances.
While Roberts finished with eight saves, Henry Clay's David Vasquez was called on to make three. Unofficially, Henry Clay outshot the Knights 21-7.
"When you play one of the top teams in the state, it's a tough Senior Night," Catholic Coach Jonathan Kincheloe said. "Our seniors played great. The team as a whole played great. I had phenomenal play from my keeper tonight. ... And the defense held their line.
"That senior leadership really stepped up tonight. You could tell they were fighting. I'm pleased that we played as well as we did. We just didn't get an attack; we didn't get any buildup. We couldn't win that middle and couldn't get an attack going. So we'll make some adjustments and we'll be ready (for the postseason)."
The game served as a final test before the post-season begins next week.
"I feel like this was a good game to see how we'll be going into post-season. We're looking pretty strong," Hunt said. "It's just a matter of us keeping our team chemistry up and just playing our game."
Catholic had plenty to build on, too. "It's a solid game," Kincheloe said. "Give up one goal on a P.K., so I'm pleased; as pleased as you can be with a loss."
Henry Clay 1, Lexington Catholic 0
Goal — HC: Amie Mabika. Goalkeepers — HC: David Vasquez; LC: Jacob Roberts. Records — Henry Clay 14-1-2; Lexington Catholic 9-9-2.