Oh, so close

Great Crossing applied loads of late pressure Tuesday night, including this blast by Keagan Morrin, but the Warhawks settled for a scoreless tie with Harrison County.

Great Crossing and Harrison County both remained unbeaten in boys’ soccer after a scoreless stalemate on the GCHS turf Tuesday night, but one team unquestionably was happier with the outcome.
“They got a tie and they were stoked,” GC coach Nick Maxwell said. “Nobody should be excited tonight. If you’re wearing green, you should be raising an eyebrow and wondering.”
GC (5-0-2) fought feverishly for the tie-breaking goal over the final 10 minutes, an effort Maxwell said he wished the Warhawks put forth earlier in the game.
The similarly spotless record notwithstanding, Harrison County (6-0-1) didn’t spark that sense of urgency based on GC’s memories of a match between many of the same players when they wore the Scott County jersey two years ago.
“I think the mindset of these boys played them a couple years ago and we put up 6-0 on them,” Maxwell said. “It was easy, and I think they thought it was going to be like that again tonight. Well, it wasn’t.”
The Thorobreds stayed faithful to their defensive lockdown tactics to the end, seemingly content to play for a deadlock.
“Credit to Harrison County. They came in with a good game plan to kind of pack that in the back, and it worked for them,” Maxwell said. “They did exactly what Scott County did. They dropped eight, nine in the box. We broke it down a few times to no avail, and then they countered on us with long balls. For the most part we handled those.”
Keagan Morrin, Brayden Ward and Zach Hamner orchestrated several golden scoring opportunities down the stretch with service help from Brice Cole and Ty Martin. With the mass of white-shirted bodies in the middle, however, many of those shots were deflected. 
Morrin’s best bid missed the crossbar by a foot with 15 seconds left.
“We don’t push the tempo. We don’t dictate the pace,” Maxwell said. “We go to whatever team we’re playing against, and we go at that pace. If we’re going to be that next-tier team, we’ve got set that tempo and we’ve got to dictate that pace.”
It has been a friendly schedule to this point for Great Crossing. Its third shutout of the season kept their goals scored to goals against ratio at 23 to four.
And yes, perhaps there was some measure of GC looking ahead to its highest-ranked opponent to date. Bryan Station will host that showdown Thursday evening.
GC has revenge on its mind after a playoff loss to the Defenders last fall, That game, of course, was when the players in blue wore Scott County red.
“Station isn’t going to take it easy on us at all,” Maxwell said. “One of my teams by now, usually we’ve played a Tates Creek or a (Lexington) Catholic, someone who’s going to force us to raise tat level. I don’t think that’s the issue, though. We just came out flat from the get-go.”
Great Crossing and keeper Isaac Sullivan have gone nearly 200 minutes without allowing a goal.
And the Warhawks remain situated as perhaps the odds-on favorite in the 41st District no matter what happens Thursday evening.
“Not a night to remember, but we’ll see what we do with the next match,” Maxwell said. “That’s what I told the guys. The great thing about sports is you take a shower, you go to bed, and you work on it the next day.”
 
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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