By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
CORBIN — The Corbin Redhound soccer team is celebrating its 20th year in style by knocking off Perry Central, 3-1, during first round action of the Sweet Sixteen.
The win advances the Redhounds (14-7-1) to their first trip to the Elite Eight and a showdown with No. 1 ranked St. Xavier Saturday at Henry Clay High School.
The Tigers earned a berth into the Elite Eight by defeating South Oldham, 3-0, Tuesday.
“This is going to be a great experience for us,” Corbin coach Armando Cima said. “You don’t get many opportunities to say you’re going to go up against the state’s No. 1 ranked team and the nation’s No. 6 ranked team.”
Corbin wasted no time in taking control of its match with Perry Central. Andrew Webb scored a goal during the 16th minute to give his team a 1-0 edge.
The Redhounds continued to control offensive play and continued to pressure the Commodores, too, as Tulio Canineu scored during the 18th minute while Lucas Canineu gave Corbin a 3-0 edge during the 28th minute of play.
Cima’s squad seemed to be in control at halftime with a 3-0 advantage.
“We were composed and we were playing our game,” Cima said of his team’s first half effort.
Things changed a bit during the second half with Perry Central forcing the pressure offensively, as Logan Spencer scored during the 46th minute to cut the Commodores’ deficit to 3-1.
“In the second half, we came out and I guess the perception was that they were going to come back out and say, ‘OK guys we’ll just keep playing the way we did in the first half and you know, not change the way they play’. At this point of the year, if you lose, you go home.
“They don’t have anything to lose by pushing people forward and doing that,” he added. “That extra pressure caused us to kind of get on our heels a bit and when we got on our heels a bit, I think we panicked and why do you panic when you’ve got a 3-0 lead? I don’t have any idea. I think it shows some immaturity — not necessarily immaturity from a personal standpoint, but immaturity in the game. We have very good players and very good athletes that have a desire and passion to play, but in our area they just don’t play enough. The time on the field is what gives them that composure that we lack every now and then.”
Corbin will be back in action Saturday at 5 p.m. against St. Xavier.
“They are undefeated and I think our boys need to be realistic about their experience and play their hearts out,” Cima said. “The wonderful thing about this game is if you can keep a game tight, it’s a winnable game.”
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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