The Fern Creek boys soccer team pulled away from Fairdale to win another Sixth Region title Saturday at Mercy Field.
The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 4-1 behind two goals from both Jacob Teasley and Kornell Hilliard. Fairdale’s season is over at 20-4, while Fern Creek advances to the state tournament at 13-4-1.
“I wasn’t even sure we would get this far this year,” said Fern Creek head coach John Pedro, whose team lost 18 seniors off last year’s squad. “We had a tough schedule at the beginning of the year, and I think that kind of built character for us. We really hit things hard in practice and started to believe.”
The steady drizzle seemed to slow the offenses of both teams slightly, but with 8:18 left in the first half it was Teasley who broke the ice, thanks to teammate Jelcin Zuniga.
“I had the ball in midfield, and I got it out wide to Jelcin,” Teasley said. “We talk about it in practice all the time. I made a run into the box and never stopped my run, and Jelcin put it in there perfectly and I played the ball one touch finish into the goal.”
That was the only goal of the first half. In fact, it was the only goal of the first 66:30 of the game. Then an onslaught of goals preluded a heavy downpour of rain in the game’s final minutes.
Hilliard scored his first goal off an assist by Abdoullie Samareau to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage with 13:30 left. Fern Creek didn’t get to celebrate long, though. Fairdale answered just 30 seconds later when Salim Issa found the back of the net to cut the lead in half.
Fairdale just had no answer down the stretch for the Tigers terrific twosome.
Teasley scored his second goal, this one off a Hilliard assist, to make it 3-1 with 8:34 left. Then Hilliard scored the most impressive goal of the night, beating three defenders and then the goalkeeper for the final goal of the game.
“This feeling is amazing,” Hilliard said. “I’ve been here three straight years and this is the best one yet. It’s family on this team. It’s real good.”
Fairdale head coach Jay Gravatte consoled his team afterward.
“Twenty wins is probably more than I even expected myself,” he said. “These seniors have the hearts of lions. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of a team and I’ve been doing this 10 or 11 years. Every win we got this year, we deserved. We earned it. Tonight just didn’t work out. They have the best attack in the region. We had the best defense. The results speak for themselves.”
Fairdale 0 1 – 1
Fern Creek 1 3 – 4
Goals: Fern Creek: Jacob Teasley 2, Kornell Hilliard 2; Fairdale: Salim Issa.
Assists: Fern Creek: Jelcin Zuniga, Hilliard; Fairdale: Abdoullie Samareau.
Records: Fairdale 20-4, Fern Creek 13-4-1