BEREA — The Madison Southern boys soccer team had a clear gameplan going into a match-up with Berea Community in the first round of the 44th District Tournament.
The Eagles did not stick with that plan, but still topped the Pirates 5-0 on Tuesday in Berea.
The victory marks the fourth-straight win for Southern, which moves into the 44th District championship game on Thursday.
The Pirates end their season with a 3-14-1 record, but threw their cross-town rivals into a backup plan early on in the game.
“Berea won’t play us like anyone else can play us,” Southern coach Andrew Lunsford said on Tuesday. “They made it difficult for us to do what we wanted to do, tonight. They played hard.”
While the Eagles controlled the ball for much of the game and had plenty of shots at the goal, Berea’s keeper Julian Clavere fended off most of the attacks early on.
At the 24-minute mark, Southern freshman Garret Wickersham finally caught Clavere over-extended and was able to sneak one past the keeper to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Clavere had deflected a shot from Pierce Meeks, but Wickersham beat two Berea defenders to the rebound and sent it into the back of the net.
Wickersham got another chance a minute later but that play was called offsides.
Samuel Lee extended the lead to 2-0 when he smacked a rebounded penalty kick in to the back of the net with less than five minutes to go in the first half.
“That goalie, he’s a good goalie. He guessed (the penalty kick) perfectly. He was right there. I was just going really hard to follow the shot and was able to put it back into the net,” Lee explained.
Berea upped their attack in the second half, but the Eagles kept pressing.
Ru Lemmer was able to get his foot on the ball in a crowded box and scored just minutes into the second half.
Minutes later, Francisco Aguilar made it 4-0 when he raced down the field and took a shot at the goal, which fell into the back of the net just over Berea keeper’s head.
Berea kept fighting and almost scored off a corner kick late in the second half, but Southern’s keeper leapt into the air and deflected the header from the Pirates.
With less than five minutes remaining, Jared Powell found the back of the net to bring the final score to 5-0.
The Eagles will take on the winner of the Madison Central and Model Laboratory game tonight on Thursday in the district final at Southern.