For The Independent
It’s always an intense game when Russell and Boyd County get together on the soccer field.
Tuesday night was no exception.
The Red Devils used the steady play of their seniors to defeat the Lions 5-3 at Boyd County Soccer Complex.
“It has always been a tough matchup,” said Russell coach Marty Torgrimson. “Boyd County always comes with a high level of intensity and a desire to win. They have some great kids on their team and they play hard.”
Russell took an early lead on a goal by forward Bryce Fowler in the 3rd minute. The senior found an empty net after a beautiful touch pass from Kurtis Miller put the Lions keeper out of position.
Fowler returned the favor as his crossing pass found Miller racing past the defense. The sophomore found the back of the net to give Russell a 2-0 advantage after eight minutes.
The Red Devils took the 2-0 lead into halftime.
For Boyd County coach William Ferguson, the Lions’ slow start came down to effort.
“It wasn’t anything technical we to needed to fix, it was just hustle,” said Ferguson. “We told the team that we were letting too many balls through and not winning many balls in the middle. We had to step it up.”
The halftime speech must have worked as Boyd County (3-4-1) took back the momentum as it erupted for three goals in three minutes early in the second half.
Junior Isaac Puzey scored a goal in the 5th minute. Two minutes later, Puzey found forward Jordan Smith in front of the net. Smith used some nice footwork to get around the goalkeeper for the score.
After senior Clayton Meade punched it into the right side of the net, Boyd County had the lead at 3-2.
Smith scored a goal from outside the penalty box 11 minutes into the second half. Unfortunately for the Lions, it was negated because of an offsides violation.
“From my angle I couldn’t tell,” claimed Ferguson. “That’s the referee’s job. It’s my job to show where to be in practice.”
Needing to find the intensity again, Russell leaned on its senior leader, Patrick Soucy.
After a throw-in found Soucy at the top of the box, the midfielder twisted his body to kick the ball around a defender into the net.
“When a team is coming back on you, you feel a little trapped,” said Soucy. “When you get a goal like that, the energy of the team goes way up. You feel that you can come back.”
Torgrimson also knew the importance of that goal.
“It woke them up a bit,” said Torgrimson. “It energized them to start playing again and going after it.”
The newly energized Devils wanted to finish the game strong, something that has plagued them throughout the season.
“One of our biggest struggles this season is that we break down in the second half,” said Soucy. “This game showed us we could pull out the win.”
Russell (7-3-2) reclaimed the lead for good in the 66th minute after a Fowler shot on goal bounced off a Lions defender into the net.
Soucy added a late goal in extra time.
“We have great senior leadership and they definitely want to win,” said Torgrimson. “The are truly anxious to finish out this year with a winning record.”
“The team is excited,” added Soucy. “There is no better feeling than beating Boyd County.”