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After five ties during the regular season, including a scoreless one against Oldham County, it’s only fitting the SCHS boys soccer team would need extra time in the 16th District Tournament on Tuesday.
But the extra session wasn’t kind to the Rockets (9-4-5, 2-1-2 in the district), who fell. 2-1. in overtime to the Colonels (8-9-2, 3-1-1) in the semifinals at South Oldham.
Shelby and Oldham stayed scoreless through the first 40 minutes before Brandon Shuck finally ended the drought with a goal off Nerry Arreaga’s corner just 2:32 into the second half. That ended a streak of more than 122 scoreless minutes between the two teams.
Oldham then tied the score about 10 minutes later, catching the Rockets’ defense out of position for a tap-in goal.
The Rockets squandered several scoring opportunities, especially early in the game.
“We just never got into a rhythm offensively,” SCHS Coach B.J. Andriot said. “We had a tough time getting used to the turf [field at South Oldham], and I think that hurt us.”
And it wasn’t just Shelby County’s shots missing the mark. Oldham County’s defense and keeper made several key saves.
In the first 10 minutes, John Oakey had shots pushed out of the net by Oldham keeper Evan Gallagher.
Taylor Shaver finally beat Gallagher with a shot at the 22-minute mark, but an Oldham defender slid in for the save.
“We had a ton of opportunities, but it seemed like every time we got a good shot off, either he [Gallagher] made the save or they had someone else step in front of it,” Andriot said. “We just had no luck. You have to have a little luck to win a game like that, and we didn’t get any. It’s like it just wasn’t our night.”
In the overtime – comprised of two 10-minute periods – the Colonels seemed to come out with a little more pep in their step and capitalized off a rebounded shot with 2:23 to play in the first period.
SCHS keeper David Breen made a nice save, but Oldham’s Bobby Atkin was there, unmarked, for the rebound shot.
Oakey nearly tied the score with a quick shot with 20 seconds remaining, but Gallagher came up big again with another diving save.
The Rockets’ had more opportunities in the second overtime period, but never could find the back of the net.
Andriot said several questionable no calls seemed to go against the Rockets during regulation and overtime of a very physical game.
“Shaver was taken down in the box twice, and there was no call either time, and Sawyer [Abshire] got hit in the back of the head, and there was no call,” Andriot said. “The officials aren’t the reason we lost, but it was a very poorly called game.”
The loss knocked the Rockets from the postseason, ending one the school’s more successful season. Shelby County spent nearly the entire year ranked in the top 25.
“We had a great season,” Andriot said. “It’s a shame that it had to end, but we just never got our game going.”
The Colonels played South Oldham in the district championship Thursday, with both teams will go on to next week’s 8th Region Tournament.
Junior Brandon Shuck and senior John Lisby were named to the 16th District all-tournament team.