NewCath boys soccer headed back to All “A” Quarterfinals

G. Michael Graham
G. Michael Graham
Mike Graham covers sports for LINK nky

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For the second year in a row, the two rivals met for the All “A” Sectional crown, but on the turf of the Mustang Athletic Complex in front of a great crowd.

However, the winner did not change as the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds grabbed the lead in the first half and added another in the second half for a 2-0 victory over the Bishop Brossart Mustangs (10-4-3). NewCath (11-3) again takes on 1st Region champion Murray (11-3) in the quarterfinals at Collegiate in Louisville on Saturday at 3 p.m.

NewCath finished its opportunities even though Brossart outshot the Thoroughbreds, 11-10, including three more on frame. NewCath goalkeeper Mason McCloskey made eight saves. One one play, McCloskey blocked a Brossart shot in the box then stopped another and collected the rebound.

“We knew that this was going to be a battle,” said Ben Williams, NewCath head coach. “Brossart plays very hard and we knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy game for either team. But our intensity was great. I applaud the guys. They had just another awesome burst.”

NewCath defender Brayden Leger (5) plays the ball in the air in the All “A” Sectional game at the Mustang Athletic Complex. NewCath won 2-0 for its second straight All “A” Sectional win. Photo provided | Greg Enxel

NewCath finished the week with another huge win over a county rival. The Thoroughbreds learned some big lessons in the 3-2 (5-4 shoot-out) win over Highlands on Tuesday at Morscher Field. NewCath led 2-0 in that game. But Highlands came back to tie it sending the game to overtime.

“We just came in with a good game plan, spent all day Friday prepping for it,” said Colin O’Dea, NewCath defender. “If we go up, the game is not over until the buzzer sounds so we just have to stay locked in and finish the game out.”

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Goalkeeper Michael Cooney kept the Mustangs in the game making three saves including including a big one with 17:30 left in the game. But Brossart could not find in the back of the net. The Mustangs had a free kick from the right side with 8:04 left in the first half, but the shot sailed high, and both teams hit one off the top bar in that half.

“The ball didn’t bounce our way,” said Ron Dunlevy, Brossart head coach. “It bounced their way in the right spots and they converted them. Congrats to them. They’ll be a tough team to beat down in Louisville.”

NewCath’s leading goal-scorer Ryan Desmond scored both goals. Owen Roeder found Desmond in the middle with 19:20 left in the first half to give the Thoroughbreds a 1-0 halftime lead.

“We had to have a good connection,” Roeder said. “We had a good drop-off from Chase (Fields). I just found the open guy, then Ryan just took a good dribble and a good shot, found the goal. Once we get confident, we just keep going.”

Then in the second half, with 11:28 to go in the game, Desmond drew a penalty just outside the box to the left and hit in the free kick for his 12th goal of the season to make the final score.

Things did become chippy in the game’s final 15 minutes. Brossart had 14 fouls to 13 for NewCath. NewCath drew three yellow cards to two for Brossart.

The Thoroughbreds played a man down the final 10:35 after a red card.

“I know we weren’t expecting the card in the last 10 minutes,” Williams said. “But the guys just stuck to it, kicked the ball out, stayed organized, managed the game, saw it out and got the result. It was great for us.”

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NewCath plays at Dixie Heights (6-6-1) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Brossart travels to Holy Cross (7-6-1) the same day for a 5 p.m. game.

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