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State Lacrosse Quarterfinals: KCD ends South’s season

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By Brad Stephens

CRESTWOOD –  South Oldham’s boys lacrosse program is still young and is still taking growing steps.

This year the Dragons took the steps of getting to 12 wins, winning their first District 4 Tournament title and hosting their first state playoff game Monday night against Kentucky Country Day.

But they weren’t able to take the next step, which would’ve been winning that playoff game.

“We’re working on growing it and getting better,” South coach Jim Murphy said. “It takes steps and sometimes they don’t come when you want them to.”

KCD scored seven straight goals at one point in the first half and was in control throughout, beating South 13-7 at Dragon Stadium.

The loss ended South’s season, the best in program history, in the state quarterfinals.

“We came out and didn’t really have our heads on straight,” junior Mason Barnes said. “...didn’t come out to play, didn’t show up, and that’s what killed us in the first half and got us discouraged in the second.”

South took a quick 3-1 lead with two goals by Tyler Nieto and one from Kevin Leskody. But when KCD gathered its feet and began its own attack, the Dragons didn’t have an answer.

A goal by the Bearcats’ Zac Etoch tied the game at 3-3 with 3:50 left in the first quarter. KCD’s Colin Ferguson scored with 1:09 left in the first to give the Bearcats their first lead.

KCD poured it on in the second quarter. Two Padric Dermody goals and one each from Justin Grissom and Zach Vine ran the Bearcat lead out to 8-3 with 8:13 left in the second quarter.

Meanwhile South spoiled its chances to answer those goals, turning the ball over on several occasions.

“Our transition game has been a part of our season we’ve had struggles with,” Barnes said. “We’ve been picking it up, but obviously didn’t pick it up enough tonight.”

Barnes scored with 7:12 to play, but an Etoch goal four minutes later gave KCD a 9-4 halftime lead.

Several days earlier, against Oldham County in the district title game, South scored 11 goals in the second half to take control of the game.

Monday the Dragons couldn’t amount much offense though. South gave up two more Bearcat goals to fall behind 11-4 and didn’t answer back until a Nieto goal with 1:37 left in the third. Senior Ryan Macht scored 20 seconds later to cut the deficit to 11-6.

Macht appeared to score again a minute later, but his goal was waved off, with the ref saying Macht was in the goalie’s crease.

Trailing 12-7 midway through the fourth quarter, the Dragons had another goal waved off. This time a Jack Gifford score was negated by South having too many men on the field.

“We didn’t play our best game,” Murphy said. “I think we were ready to play but just didn’t quite get it done.

“Sometimes you get nervous, try a little too hard, or whatever. I’ll still give credit to KCD, they took advantage of our mistakes.”

Etoch’s third goal of the night with 2:07 left made the final score 13-7. He and Grissom scored three goals each for KCD.

Nieto paced the Dragons with three goals in his final high school game. He’ll be playing lacrosse at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va.

He’s the only South senior currently planning on playing college lacrosse, Murphy said, but he said several others have impressive plans in other areas.

“A number of them played for four years, some for three,” Murphy said. “But I’ve got some good scholars out there. A lot of them have 3.5’s to 4.0’s.

“These kids have things going on besides lacrosse and they’ll be very successful, I’m sure.”

–Oldham County, the district runner-up, also saw its season end Monday.

The Colonels fell 17-8 at Christian Academy-Louisville in their first ever state playoff game.

Email us about this article at sports@oldhamera.com.