First, there was "Bend It Like Beckham."
Now, there's "bend it like Bryson."
Bryson Vaughn curved a corner kick into the net with 1:40 left Monday night, boosting Lafayette over Lexington Christian 2-1 in the opening round of the boys' 43rd District tournament at LCA.
"First, I was just meaning to cross it in," Vaughn said. "Then, when everybody was in the air it just started curving and it luckily went in. It was all luck, though."
Lafayette (7-11) will meet top-seeded Paul Laurence Dunbar in Tuesday's semifinals at 8 p.m.
"They're so talented all over the field. It's going to take a lot to compete with them," Generals Coach Chris Grimm said. "But the thing I'll say about my guys is they're fearless. ... My guys aren't going to be scared of Dunbar tomorrow. So we'll go in, give it everything we've got and see what happens."
The other semi, set for 6 p.m., will pit second-seeded Lexington Catholic against third-seeded Tates Creek. In case of wet grounds, the semifinals may be moved from LCA's grass to the artificial turf at Dunbar.
Lafayette, which nipped LCA 1-0 on penalty kicks during the regular season, led 1-0 at halftime Monday.
Tenko Kono, shooting from about 20-to-25 yards out, bagged the goal with 19:20 left on the clock.
Vaughn, with 22½ minutes left, was on target with a 30-yard free kick, but Eagles goalkeeper Micah Penalva made the save.
The Eagles (9-10-1) adjusted at halftime and picked up on offense in the second half.
"I think our guys did a good job of kind of upping the tempo, playing at a higher pace, pressing more," Coach Danny Harvey said. "Did a good job to create chances for themselves. Obviously it hurts to lose in the last two minutes of the game, but credit to Lafayette — they never stopped fighting, even when we had a little bit of the momentum in the second half."
LCA's Liam Hamilton, Carter Johnson and Connor Starks all nearly connected in the first nine minutes of the second half.
Drew Graybeal notched the equalizer, heading in a rebound with 30:53 left.
Then it was Lafayette's turn to increase the pressure.
"I think we had a (disappointing) season this year, but I feel like when it came up to the last game, when it actually mattered, we showed up and did what must be done," Generals forward Jimmy Kaindu said. "We came out hard. We had a little period where we (struggled), but we didn't stop. We came back and we did what we came out here to do."
Vaughn had two good looks. He had a shot blocked by Graybeal with about nine minutes left, and was stopped by Penalva two minutes later.
In the end, though, Vaughn had exactly what the Generals needed.
"I was really proud of our guys," Grimm said. "Our game plan coming in tonight was just to be aggressive.
"It's no secret we've struggled to score some goals this year and we felt like 'we're going to go for it; we're just going to be aggressive, create as many opportunities as we possibly can and hopefully a larger percentage of our chances go in the goal than theirs.' We got a little lucky on that corner there, but we wanted to play a lot of stuff close to the goal, so Bryce was doing what we talked about there and it worked out for us."
Lafayette 2, lexington christian 1
43rd District at Lexington Christian
Goals—L: Tenko Kono, Bryce Vaughn. LCA: Drew Graybeal. Goalkeepers—L: Trey Paskovics; LCA: Micah Penalva.
Records: Lafayette 7-11; Lex. Christian 9-10-1.