By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
Madison Southern (4-1) bounced back from its tough loss to Model last week with a 9-1 blowout of Whitley County Tuesday.
Despite having to use a makeshift lineup due to injuries, the Eagles overpowered the Colonels from the outset.
Senior Tyler Conley set the pace early, hammering home the first goal of the game less than three minutes into the contest to put Southern up 1-0.
Conley finished with three goals on the night, including the Eagles’ final goal of the game before coach James Ray put in his junior varsity players for the final 20 minutes of play.
Freshman Zach Yoder and sophomores Garrison Copper and Maguire Jennings also had goals in the first half, and Conley’s second of the half put the Eagles on top 5-0 at the half.
Whitley got its only goal at the 29-minute mark of the second half to cut the Eagles’ lead to 5-1.
But that was the only goal senior Elijah Sexton, who was filling in for injured goal keeper Ethan Pike, allowed.
The Eagles added second-half goals from Daylin Taylor and back-to-back goals within a minute of each other by Tanner Kidwell and the third of the night by Conley to round out the scoring.
Ray said he was pleased with how his team bounced back after the loss last week, especially with the patchwork lineup.
“They came out well. This senior class really wants to do well and leave a mark here, so their leadership really showed this week,” Ray said. “We have several kids playing out of position right now in spots they don’t normally play, but they stepped up and did the job.”
Ray also applauded the play of Sexton, who had never played in goal in a high school game before.
“Elijah’s only played goalie a little bit in indoor soccer and that’s it. He didn’t do a bad job tonight,” Ray said. “But that’s what being a team is. When somebody goes down, you step up and do whatever is best for the team. That’s senior leadership.”
The Eagles don’t have much time to savor the win because they have a tough matchup with Madison Central in Richmond on Thursday.
Ray said he knows his makeshift lineup is going to face a stiff test from the Indians.
“Central is a good team and they are well coached so it will be a battle for us come Thursday night,” Ray said. “We’ll talk about what we want to do against them in practice tomorrow and come out and see how we play and who on our team can do what we need done. That will set up a lot in the game. It will be a good test for us to see what we can do.”
The varsity game is set for 8:30 p.m.
Southern 6, Lexington Catholic 0
The Lady Eagles (0-4-2) hung with the Lady Knights in the first half Tuesday, and only trailed 1-0 at the half.
But, the relentless pressure on offense by Lexington Catholic quickly turned the game into a runaway in the second half as the Lady Knights connected on five goals to cruise to a 6-0 victory.
Southern coach Katy Cress was not pleased with her team’s second-half effort, which was nowhere near what they displayed in the first half.
“The first half was good. The second half, I don’t know,” Cress said. “I don’t know what to say. We have stuff going on that I don’t know how to fix. That’s about it.”
The Lady Eagles are back in action today when they host Berea at 6 p.m.