MURRAY — Both Murray High soccer teams were winners on Tuesday night in the first round of the All-A tournament against Mayfield. The boys won 2-0 to start then night and the girls finished Mayfield in a single half of soccer, 10-0.
It was a night where seniors were honored and wins were collected. In the boys game, Murray High attacked early and often. They applied tremendous pressure and tested the outstanding goalkeeper for the Cardinals with 25 total shots.
Trey Boggess opened up the scoring in the first half with a header goal off of a great delivery on a corner kick from Chase Renick. The placement of the pass and the shot gave the Mayfield keeper no chance.
“I’ve got to give credit to their defense and their keeper,” Murray High boys’ soccer coach Jared Rosa said. “He came up big probably three or four times and really kept them in it. We pushed really hard in that second half and we needed to come up with that second goal to swing the game a little bit more…The first goal was just a super free kick in from Renick and it hit Boggess right on the head and there’s nothing you can do about those.”
In the final minutes, Boggess struck again to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead and essentially wrap up the win. His emergence as an offensive threat comes after a recent position change by Rosa to move him into an attacking role.
“Until a few weeks ago we had him anchoring in the back line” Rosa said. “We got to where we could scrimmage and practice and we tried him up top and in the middle and the wing and he became a really good link to get balls into the box or to play and run off the ball. He’s so big and quick and once he gets going it’s really all downhill and he can beat anybody. I knew he could be dangerous.”
On the flip side, the Tigers defense limited the Cardinals and their counter attack offense to just three total shots. For the most part it was a perfect execution of the game plan laid out by Rosa.
“Our defense did exactly what I asked them to do,” Rosa said. “They didn’t play around with it (the ball) in the back, because Mayfield is a big counter attack team. Credit to them, they are really good at pushing forward and pressing and trying to win the ball back, but I was thankful that our defense was up to the challenge and let the ball get to the midfield area and let the midfielders and forwards run the show a little bit.”
As for the girls game, the game ended at halftime due to the mercy rule after Kyra Jones put the tenth goal of the night in for the Lady Tigers. The offense was in full attack mode from the very beginning, with Abby Elmore scoring four goals in the first 21 minutes of play. Amidst her scoring, Peyton Wray found the back of the net and followed it up with two more in the first half for the hat trick. Angela Gierhart also scored two goals for the Lady Tigers in the blowout win.
“It builds confidence seeing the ball go into the back of the net and for us, we’ve played four games and we had only scored one goal, so to get some girls seeing the ball go into the back of the net, like Abby Elmore,” Murray High girls’ soccer coach Shauna Traylor said. “The way she played tonight was fearless and I think the she’s been very timid over the first few games and I need that (fearlessness) from her on Thursday and we talked about that.”
In the game with Mayfield, Traylor said she was mainly focused on her team playing with possession an making clean passes.
“This is maybe not as high of an intensity game as others, so there’s less pressure on them because they have more time on the ball,” Traylor said. “If they are able to find feet easily in this game then maybe they can do it a little bit better in other games.”
With the win, the Lady Tigers are now 1-1 in district play and will now face Calloway County on Thursday night in a pivotal matchup for district tournament seeding purposes.
“It’s a big game,” Traylor said. “We are excited and we’ve been talking about it. It’s our next game in line and I can’t pump them up anymore than them knowing it’s Murray and Calloway.”
The game is set to start at 5:30 p.m. at Calloway County with the boys game to follow.