High School Sports

State soccer finals: Bowling Green boys, South Oldham girls claim titles

Dunbar's Javier Delgado battles for a header against Bowling Green's Sam Grise during the KHSAA Boys' State Soccer semifinals at Henry Clay soccer field in Lexington, Ky., Thursday evening, November 6, 2014. Photo by Matt Goins
Dunbar's Javier Delgado battles for a header against Bowling Green's Sam Grise during the KHSAA Boys' State Soccer semifinals at Henry Clay soccer field in Lexington, Ky., Thursday evening, November 6, 2014. Photo by Matt Goins Herald-Leader

The boys' soccer state finals turned into a shootout and nearly a punchout.

Bowling Green upended Scott 6-4, breaking by one the record for most goals in a state finals.

There were more cards than goals, though — 11 yellows and five reds — in a match that turned physical and downright dirty at times.

Earlier, Stephanie Rowland's four-goal game powered South Oldham to the girls' title, 4-1 over Owensboro Catholic.

Both matches were played at Henry Clay High School.

This year marked the first in which neither a Lexington nor Louisville school was involved in either the boys' or girls' finals.

Exodus Bargblor scored a hat trick and Blake Cleary had two goals to help Bowling Green's boys rally from a 3-1 deficit. Gilio Aviles had the other goal for the third-ranked Purples (22-1-1).

"We play as a team and we never did give up," said Bargblor, who picked up tourney MVP honors, not to mention a red card. "We knew we had to move toward the ball and find each other."

Bowling Green finished the season with a 19th consecutive victory, winning the school's second state title. The first came in 2006.

"It was a game worthy of a state championship," Purples Coach Craig Widener said.

"They took us out of our game for a while. We had a hard time dealing with it (physical play) for the first half, and here in the second half I wish we were a little smarter, and we really weren't. But it is what it is.

"We show up, we play the game, we try to score more goals than the other team. We made a couple of adjustments at halftime. We knew we had to be a lot more offensive and definitely more aggressive on the defensive end. ... The boys stepped up and did what they needed to do."

Scott's sixth-ranked Eagles (21-3-1) got two goals by Devin Morgan and one each by Luke Treadway and Blake Schneider.

Goals by Schneider, Morgan and Treadway gave Scott a 3-1 lead in the first half.

But Bowling Green pulled to within a goal with 1:13 left in the period as Bargblor scored from close range.

That started a four-goal run that would give the Purples a 5-3 lead.

Morgan's second goal, with 21:32 left, brought Scott to within 5-4.

But Bargblor tallied off of Joel Jerez's free kick with 20:31 to play.

The eighth-ranked South Oldham girls (23-4) won their seventh state title, and first since 2001.

"I told them before the game this season has been like a great novel," said Cy Tucker, who has coached all the Dragons championships. "I've gone back and read some chapters over and over and over again, and as anxious as I was to read the last chapter I also was a little nervous about having to finish the book. Because I knew it would be one of those ones you just didn't want to end. But it couldn't have been a better ending. ... So now it will be my favorite novel."

Rowland, the tourney MVP, opened the scoring 4:21 in, breaking into the penalty box and firing low right corner for her 40th goal of the season.

She made it 2-0 at 26:45, weaving through the defense until firing from 15 yards off the end line.

The fourth-ranked Aces (27-2) halved the deficit at 29:43 when Ambere Barnett scored from 30 yards out.

But Rowland, a senior who will play for Ohio University next season, came back to complete the first-half hat trick at 45:13, shooting from about 12 yards out.

"It's crazy. I thought it was going to be a lot tougher of a game, but we definitely pulled through. My teammates got me balls and they were pretty much breakaways. I just had to put them away."

Rowland's final goal, with 15:37 left in the second half, came on a free kick from about 30 yards away.

South Oldham 4, Owensboro Catholic 1

Goals — SO: Stephanie Rowland 4; OC: Ambere Barnett; Goalkeepers — SO: Whitney Love; OC: Ellie Mitchell.

Records — South Oldham 23-4; Owensboro Catholic 27-2.

Bowling Green 6, Scott 4

Goals — BG: Blake Cleary 2, Exodos Bargblor 3, Gilio Aviles; S: Blake Schneider, Devin Morgan 2, Luke Treadway. Goalkeepers — BG: Ryan Hughes and Jay Cash; S: C.J. Seay.

Records — Bowling Green 22-1-1; Scott 21-3-1.

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