Marion County soccer Knights have strong week

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County High School Knights boys soccer team played five games, and came away with victories in three of the five. Last Saturday, the Knights played Fort Knox at home and came away with a relatively easy 8-0 victory. Tuesday of last week, Marion County hosted Lincoln County and again came away with a 5-2 victory. On Thursday, the Knights began a three-game tournament hosted by Nelson County. The first game of the tournament was against the host Cardinals, and the Knights came away with a 5-1 loss. On Saturday, Marion County played their remaining two games in the Nelson County tournament. Their first game was against Kentucky Country Day, and the game played out to a 0-0 tie. Later that day, the team faced off against Meade County and came away with a 1-0 victory.
In the Fort Knox game, the Knights were in control of the game throughout.
“We were up 3-0 at the half, and pretty much cruised the rest of the way,” Head Coach Greg Conley said.
Michael Costello was in goal for the shutout, and two goals were provided each by Christian Carmona, Dylan Spalding, and John Southall. Noah Swencki and Brandon Knopp added the final two goals for the Knights. Southall also added three assists and Satchel Tatum and Brandon Knopp chipped in one assist each.   
Lincoln County scored one goal in the first half on a “defensive mistake on our part”, according to Coach Conley. In the second half, the Knights controlled possession and added two more goals after leading 3-1 at the half. The game was played in terrible weather conditions, and the field was gradually becoming a mud pit.  
“Their coach would not shake my hand after the game, and I have no idea why”, Conley said. “My kids played hard the entire match, and we had fans out there helping motivate the players the entire night. It was sloppy on the field with the rain, but our kids seem to really enjoy playing in the muck.”
Christian Carmona added two goals, while Jared Wheatley, John Southall, and Trevor Hood tallied one goal each.
In the loss to Nelson County, Conley said it was a very physical game on both sides of the ball.
“We were possessing the ball well on their end, and they intercepted a passed and took it straight down the field to punch in a goal,” he said. “We continued to string passes together and moved the ball around very well. However, we do not play well in the air. This was very evident in this game as Nelson County scored three goals off headers. Sometimes you can move the ball well during the game, but you just can’t finish it off in the back of the net. The Nelson County game was one of those type games.”
The match-up against Kentucky Country Day ended in a scoreless tie.
“We played a great game overall to bounce back after the loss to Nelson County”, Conley said. “It was a very evenly matched game that went back and forth on both sides of the ball.”
Each team had chances to score, but neither team could do so.     
In the team’s final game of the Nelson County tournament, the Knights came away with a tough 1-0 victory. The lone goal came from John Southall on a penalty kick. According to Conley, the game got a bit too physical.
“The game seemed to get a bit out of hand due to what I would call less than par officiating”, Conley said. “Several players got injured during the match, and we had to really shuffle the lineup as the game progressed.”
Overall, the team finished with a record of 1-1-1, and a third place finish in the tournament. Yesterday, the team traveled to Bardstown and results of this game were unknown as of press time. Tomorrow the Knights will hit the road to tangle with district foe Danville, and will host Western Hills Saturday afternoon.
As of Sept. 7, the Knights are in the top three in four different statistical categories for the entire state of Kentucky on the season. Christian Carmona is in third place in individual scoring with 20 goals or 2.5 goals per game. John Southall leads the state in assists with 12 or 1.5 per game. The team is tied for second in the state by scoring 50 goals with an average of 6.3 goals per game. The team also leads the state in margin of victory by defeating their opponents by an average of five goals per game.