Login NowClose 
Sign In to thecouriertimes.com           
Forgot Password
or if you have not registered since 8/22/18
Click Here to Create an Account
Close

Panther boys top Patriots in sectional opener

1 / 4
Knightstown’s Levi Northern (left) and Union County’s Braydon Reiboldt (10) battle for the ball during Monday evening’s opening round of boys soccer Class A Sectional 42 at Knightstown’s Don Willard Field. The tourney host Panthers blanked the Patriots 2-0.
2 / 4
Knightstown’s Cordell Lucas (5) moves the ball up the field with a Union County player in pursuit during Monday evening’s opening round of boys soccer Class A Sectional 42 at Knightstown’s Don Willard Field. The host Panthers defeated the Patriots 2-0 to advance tonight’s semifinals against Centerville.
3 / 4
Knightstown goal keeper Aidan Harris (1) and teammate Jace Carmack (12) combine to thwart an attempted goal by Union County’s Gabriel Panceri (13) during Monday’s opening round of boys soccer Class A Sectional 42 at Knightstown’s Don Willard Field. The host Panthers shut out the Patriots 2-0 to move into today’s semifinals.
4 / 4
Knightstown’s Ben Sander (25, right) moves the ball up the field with Union County’s Noah Greene (5) in pursuit during Monday evening’s opening round of boys soccer Class A Sectional 42 at Knightstown’s Don Willard Field. Sander scored a goal in the second half to increase the Panthers’ lead to 2-0, which turned out to be the final score in the win over the Patriots.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

KNIGHTSTOWN — The Knightstown High School boys soccer team, especially its defense, was ready to play in the opening round of Class A Sectional 42 play Monday evening.

The host Panthers scored two goals, one on a bit of charity from Union County, and held the Patriots scoreless for a 2-0 victory at Don Willard Field.

Knightstown (7-6-1) now moves on to play Centerville in today’s second semifinal game after Wapahani and Seton Catholic tangle in the first semifinal game at 5 p.m.

“We’re very happy with the win,” Knightstown Coach Adam Lykens said afterward. “We figured it would be a close game and we needed to keep track of their No. 1 (Griffen Rude) because he’s a good player and can score.”

The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes waiting for a third referee to arrive to officiate the game. One the contest started, both teams battled hard to try to score the first goal.

Union County’s Griffen Rude missed a shot wide at the 36:25 mark of the first half, and a Panther attempt was stopped by Patriot goal keeper Rhett Hollen seven minutes later.

Knightstown almost scored at the 26:17 mark when a shot by Owen Newkirk clanged off the right post of the goal.

Less than two minutes later, Knightstown was on the board when Levi Northern kicked the ball toward the Union County goal. It bounced around a couple times and then slipped out of the grasp of a patriot defender and into the net for an “own goal” at the 24:38 mark to give the Panthers a 1-0 advantage.

Not much occurred over the next five minutes until a Union County attempt flew over the goal at the 19:26 mark and a Knightstown attempt near the goal was blocked by Union County’s Gabriel Panceri with 17:41 left in the first half.

Rude kicked another ball over the goal at the 9:57 mark, an attempt by the Patriots’ John Couser was stopped by Knightstown goal keeper Aidan Harris at the 5:41 mark.

Rude had two good shots turned away by the Panther defense in the last five minutes of the opening half, and the Panthers’ Ben Sanders had a shot stuffed by Hollen with nine seconds left before halftime. So Knightstown went into intermission with that 1-0 lead.

Thirty-six seconds into the second half, Newkirk had another shot clang off the goal, but at the 36:41 mark Sanders connected by kicking a ball into the corner of the goal for a 2-0 Panther advantage.

That was the end of the scoring but not the end of the action as Union County feverishly tried to score to get closer and the Panthers attempted to add to their lead.

Sander, Newkirk, and Cordell Lucas were active on the offensive end for Knightstown while Northern, Josiah Moore and Jace Carmack were among the defenders keeping the Patriots from scoring.

Union County almost scored when Rude clanged the ball off the crossbar and it flew over the goal, but that was the most severe threat the visitors had the rest of the game.

“I thought Levi Northern and the rest of our defense played a great game,” Lykens said. “We’re going to need the same effort when we play again on Wednesday. The regional this year is our goal.”