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The 12th man proved to be critical for the Marion County High School boys' soccer team Tuesday of last week in their 2-1 home win over Pulaski County.
"The crowd had a lot to do with raising the energy of the team. They had a lot to do with the win," Head Coach Greg Conley said. "Up 2-0, the last several minutes of the game we ran out of gas. They pushed us the rest of the way through. It's also the first time we've played together as a group."
Conley and the team have worked hard at building attendance at home games and the results are starting to show. Two previous home games have been attended better than other games in recent memory.
Marion County led the game with 11 shots on goal, closely contested by Pulaski's nine shots.
Joey Costello netted the first goal for the Knights in the first half while John Southall added the go ahead goal in the second half. Christian Carmona assisted both goals.
Michael Costello finished the game with 14 saves.
Thursday, the Knights left the friendly confines of home and played on the new turf at Boyle County High School. The Rebels thrashed the Knights, winning 4-0.
"They were up two goals then scored two more goals in the last eight or nine minutes. It didn't look like a 4-0 game," Conley said. "We're starting to gel as a group. Our leadership is starting to come about."
The coach also faced a unique situation in coaching against his sons.
"It's hard. It was kind of surreal actually," Conley said.
Did the coach have a hard time not cheering for his sons?
"Yeah I said a few things out loud. I got some looks from the bench, so I tried to keep that to a minimum," Conley said. "I was cheering them when they did things well. That's just the dad in me."
Boyle County had 20 shots on goal to the Knights six. Michael Costello had 15 saves.
The Knights traveled to Garrard County Tuesday. Results were unknown at press time. They host Anderson County in a heated rivalry game Thursday at 8 p.m. Saturday they travel to Fort Knox. Play begins at 7 p.m. Finally, Tuesday they face Southwestern on the road. Play begins at 7:30 p.m.