LEXINGTON, Ky. – The fifth-ranked South Oldham boys’ soccer season is gone with the wind.
On the windiest of days, the Dragons watched Covington Scott High take the wind in the second half and cashed in with a goal with 17:20 left as University of Kentucky recruit Luke Treadway scored, lifting the Eagles 1-0 in the first semifinal Thursday night at Henry Clay High School.
For most of the game, it was played with a steady drizzle, blown across the field with a heavy wind and chilly temperatures.
“We’ve never played in conditions like this — never,” said South Oldham coach Kenneth Burke. “Tough conditions.”
No. 6 Scott (20-3-1) will advance to the state finals Saturday night at 7, also at Henry Clay, against the Bowling Green-Dunbar winner.
The Dragons finished 15-7-3.
Scott’s Luke Treadway, #34, battles South Oldham’s Davis Higdon, #28, during the Kentucky State High School Soccer Semifinal at the Henry Clay High School in Lexington. Nov. 6, 2014
“We were fouling too much,” Burke said. “We kept giving them set pieces and they kept serving them in. At some point, it was going to cost us and it eventually did.”
Treadway was fouled by South Oldham’s Wes Smith. After the foul, Treadway and Devin Morgan lined up to take the free kick from 23 yards out.
Burke said he wasn’t so sure it was a foul. “They (the officials) said Wes (Smith) jumped into him,” he said. “I thought our guy jumped straight up.”
It was Treadway who took the kick, which sailed over a line of South Oldham defenders into the goal.
The goal was Treadway’s 29th of the season.
“He absolutely blasted that one, maybe 80 miles an hour,” Burke said.
South Oldham had a similar chance with 11:10 left, after Scott’s Chad Evans received a yellow card.
On the free kick, South Oldham’s Christian Lister sent over a shot toward the goal and it sailed over the crossbar.
Then with six minutes left, the Dragons came so close to a goal as Jonas Prenn took a shot from 15 yards and Scott goalkeeper C.J. Seay made a dive for the ball, got a hand on it and the ball trickled toward the right post. But Seay leaped on it before it crossed the line.
Burke said the weather hindered South Oldham’s comeback ability.
“It was tough,” he said. “The 20-mile-an-hour wind was blowing sideways. I applaud all of them — from both teams.”
South Oldham’s best chance in the first half — when the Dragons had the wind — came in the early moments as Christian Lister fired a shot straight-away from 20 yards. The shot ricocheted off the middle of the crossbar just 1:16 into the match.
“If that ball’s two millimeters lower, we’re having a different conversation,” Burke said. “It’s unfortunate that didn’t go in.”
Burke commended his team for South Oldham’s first-ever trip to the semifinals.
“It took an absolute windstorm and rainstorm to beat us,” Burke said.
Burke said they kept Treadway in check the entire night. “Treadway — he never got loose, not one time,” he said. “Joseph Profancik (a defender) played a whale of a game back there and locked him down.”