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By NATHANIEL BRYAN firstname.lastname@example.org
RADCLIFF — Logan Raley helped Meade County off to a fast start and a furious finish Tuesday night.
A junior midfielder, Raley scored the first goal and assisted on the final one to help the visiting Green Wave knock off the North Hardin Trojans, 3-2 in Meade County’s first of five 10th District contests.
Raley’s goal came midway through the first half as junior midfielder Quintin Franke passed to his left to a hard-charging Raley, whose shot was so hard and so well placed that it got stuck near the back left post of the goal.
“Quintin hit me in stride and I lit it up,” said Raley, who scored the first district goal of his career.
The second goal Raley was involved in was also an impressive play.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in the match, Raley dribbled the ball into the right corner. He worked his way around one Trojan defender and split two more North Hardin defenders with a pass near the penalty spot. Senior midfielder Kerry Rupe was waiting, unmarked, and deposited the pass into the bottom left corner of the goal for the game winner.
“Logan gave me a great ball and I just finished it off,” Rupe said.
Finishing was a recurring theme for the Green Wave, who scored on 60 percent (3-of-5) of their shots on frame.
Meade County’s other goal came from senior defender/forward Ryan Fackler, who drilled a left-footed shot into the top back right corner of the goal from more than 30 yards out with 28 minutes left to play to even the score at 2-all.
“From my standpoint, you can’t ask for anything more out of them as far as finishing,” said veteran Meade County coach Matt Pollock. “They were strong, well-placed shots which were all set up.”
Meade County’s first lead lasted all of 3 minutes as North Hardin senior midfielder Jacob Hughes crossed to senior forward Marcellus Hobbs in the center of the field roughly 25 yards in front of the goal. Hobbs’ hard shot glanced off a Meade County defender and soared into the net.
Hobbs, who helped tie the score, helped North Hardin (2-3 overall, 0-2 district) to its only lead as well. He chipped into the Meade County 18-yard box 5 minutes into the second half. With Meade County junior goalkeeper Jordan Compton charging, North Hardin junior forward Tyler Blankenship was able to head the ball over Compton and into the net.
North Hardin’s lead lasted only 7 minutes as the Trojans lost for the third time in four games and Meade County (3-1-1, 1-0) won for the third straight contest.
The Trojans had 16 shots, including five in the final 10 minutes of the first half and two in the final 2 minutes of the game which were deflected in the 18-yard box by Meade County defenders.
“They made two seeing-eye shots. They had five shots, but hit three. Soccer can be a funny game sometimes,” said veteran North Hardin coach Jim Stone. “I think we outplayed them in the midfield and I think we had more opportunities, but they had the better accuracy.”
North Hardin won the junior varsity game, 2-0.
UP NEXT: Meade County hosts district rival Elizabethtown (4-2-1, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday. North Hardin plays at district rival Central Hardin (4-0, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Trojans’ first game this season outside the Radcliff city limits.
Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758