St. Mary’s stifling defense behind the midline and a terrific performance from Vikings keeper Jack Bell were no match for McCracken County on Thursday night, which came away with a 4-0 win at Jetton Field for the program’s seventh-straight First District title.
And it came in one final flurry.
A rocket-of-a-goal from senior defender Carlos Velazquez (courtesy of an assist from senior Dylan Deweese) had the Mustangs up 1-0 in the 36th minute.
It wasn’t until the 76th, 77th and 79th minutes did the avalanche come, as a 20-yard bomb from Josh Kuntz (right in the middle of the field, unmarked) and a nifty brace from Reese Bohde, respectively, iced the championship and a No. 1 seed in next week’s First Region Tournament.
“We did switch formations a couple of times,” noted McCracken coach Michael Wiersema. “It was just perseverance. When Josh (Kuntz) hit that bomb, it made (St. Mary) want to step out (of the box) a little bit.
“And when they stepped out, we could play a little bit behind them.”
The Mustangs were without the services of stars Riley Skinner and Caleb Madison, who were both named to the 2020 All-District Team, due to sustained injuries. But Wiersema is hearing positive news about both, and it’s possible he could have their services by next week, when the Mustangs face Second District runner-up Murray at Draffenville’s Colburn Field in the opening round.
“Caleb’s talking about trying to practice (Friday),” he added. “And Riley, the doctors are talking about trying to get him to run (Friday). You know, baby steps. The most important thing to me is that those guys don’t rush it, and we take care of them.
“But they’re working hard to try and get back.”
The Vikings got 13 saves from Bell, who had seven after the first half, but missed on their only three true scoring opportunities. Gavin O’Donley made a terrific save in the first 10 minutes, snatching a fly ball from his right, and two second-half corners never materialized.
MCCRACKEN COUNTY 4, ST. MARY 0
First Half — 36’ MC Carlos Velazquez (Dylan Deweese assists).
Second Half — 76’ MC Josh Kuntz (unassisted), 77’ MC Reese Bohde (unassisted), 78’ MC Reese Bohde (Josh Kuntz assists).
Shots: MC 24, SM 2. Saves: MC Gavin O’Donley 1, SM Jack Bell 13. Corners: MC 7, SM 2.
MC 9-2-3 (3-0), SM 8-4-1 (3-2)
Jaxon Miller, McCracken County (MVP)
Dylan Deweese, McCracken County
Riley Skinner, McCracken County
Caleb Madison, McCracken County
Reese Bohde, McCracken County
Max LaFont, McCracken County