By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
LEXINGTON — The Model Laboratory Patriots (18-1) advanced to the semifinals of the 11th Region Tournament Tuesday with a 4-2 win over Western Hills (6-8-5) at Lafayette High School.
The Patriots got two goals from Noah Valencia and one each from Travis Taulbee and Chris Wylie to fight off a very physical Wolverines squad.
The win leaves Model as the only local team still alive after the Madison Southern Lady Eagles were shutout 8-0 by Tates Creek in the girls regional earlier in the night at Bryan Station.
Western Hills tried to take Model’s top goal scorer, Andew Wylie, out of the game and limit his scoring by being very physical with him all over the field, sometimes overly so, without drawing any cards, much to the chagrin of Model coach Steve Savage.
But to his credit, Wylie didn’t retaliate, Savage said.
“It was very physical out there and we weren’t getting any calls either,” Savage said. “They were very physical with Andrew and he was having trouble. There was a couple of times I thought he was going to take somebody down from behind, but he didn’t. He did a good job of holding his composure.”
Western Hills’ tactic worked in that Wylie didn’t score, but in the end, it failed miserably as the cagey senior made them pay by delivering a couple of assists on some nice passes that set up his teammates for easy shots on goal.
Western Hills found out what a lot of Model’s opponents have this season, the Patriots are not a one-man team and can score from multiple spots in the lineup.
Valencia, Model’s second-leading scorer stepped up big for the Patriots, taking advantage of his superior speed to repeatedly get to the box for shots.
His first goal of the night gave Model a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game. Neither team could crack the net the remainder of the half, even though the Patriots had several good opportunities on breakaways.
The Wolverines got a goal at the 51 minute mark to tie the game.
But Valencia quickly answered on a beautiful pass from Wylie four minutes later to reclaim the lead at 2-1.
Chris Wylie found the back of the net in the 60th minute to extend the margin to 3-1, but Western Hills quickly retaliated on a freak play.
A Wolverine player partially blocked a cross by a Patriot. The ball came down with some funny spin on it and bounced right to a Western Hills player who rifled a shot past Model goalkeeper Levi Agee to once again cut the lead to one at 3-2.
But just when it looked like the Wolverines were gaining the momentum, Agee came up with several big stops. Travis Taulbee put the final nail in the coffin with a goal on a perfect pass from Andrew Wylie to make it 4-2 with 10 minutes to play and the Patriot defense shut the Wolverines down the rest of the way.
Savage said he was pleased to get the win on a night the Patriots didn’t play their best game.
“We missed a lot of easy shots tonight We had two breakaways Noah missed and Wylie missed a couple. But we’ll take care of those things between now and Thursday,” Savage said. “It a win and we’ll take it and see what we can do against Henry Clay on Thursday.”
The Blue Devils and Patriots meet at 8 p.m. Thursday at Lafayette High School.
Lady Eagles no match for powerful Tates Creek
The Madison Southern Lady Eagles (10-12-2) ran into a buzzsaw in the talented Tates Creek Tuesday in Lexington.
Tates Creek entered the game as a team that many thought had a shot at winning the 11 Region Tournament and they looked every bit the part against the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Commodores got two goals in the game’s first six minutes and never looked back, finding the net four more times before intermission to take a 6-0 lead.
The Creek defense stymied the Lady Eagles’ offense all night, while the Lady Commodores’ offense kept relentless pressure on the Southern defense.
Creek got its seventh goal seven minutes into the second half, then found the net one more time with 22 minutes remaining.
The Lady Eagles finished the season strong after going winless in the first month of the season.
Southern won five of its last 10 games, including a 6-0 victory over Model in the 44th District Tournament.
By Bob Flynn
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