RICHMOND — Great Crossing took a humbling 8-0 boys' soccer loss from Madison Central just five weeks ago.
The teams met again late Monday night on the same field in the opening round of the 11th Region Tournament. And this time around, GC coach Nick Maxwell knew he needed a different game plan to try to slow down one of the most prolific offenses in the state.
"They are a fantastic team. They just attack, attack, attack. We told our kids they would have to play defense," Maxwell said. "They would have to commit to that side of the ball — and they did."
They did, indeed, pulling an upset that sent shock waves around the state.
Aiden Bryan scored all three goals as the Warhawks (11-7-3) stunned the previously unbeaten Indians (19-1-1), 3-2.
Bryan found the top right corner from about 30 yards out with 1:43 left in double overtime.
The Warhawks advance to the semifinals and will face Lexington Catholic (16-6-0) Wednesday at Lexington Christian Academy.
Game time is 6 p.m. GC also will look to avenge a regular-season loss in that one.
The odds were stacked against the Warhawks on many levels.
Great Crossing lost to Frankfort, 5-0, in the 41st District title game last Friday and came into the game without leading scorer Preston Welch, who was ineligible after receiving a red card in that match.
"They put in the work and they got a little luck. Sometimes it takes both," Maxwell said.
Bryan gave Great Crossing the lead with 12:31 on another free kick opportunity.
That strike seemed to give the Indians, who previously gave up only nine goals all season, a much-needed spark.
Sam Hughes scored on a header to tie the game less than four minutes later. Chris LaGrange put Central in front 2-1 by streaking up the far side and sliding a shot inside the right post.
The Indians held that advantage until the final minutes of regulation.
"We changed up our formations just for this game, mainly to clog the middle," Maxwell said. "We are about to put a lot pressure on them and that prevented some of the easy entries."
Central had plenty of chances, but junior Ethan Purcell made a series of outstanding saves to keep GC in the game.
It all paid off when the Indians were called for a handball in the box with 2:40 left in regulation. Bryan calmly tucked the shot into the left side of the net to tie it.
Central controlled possession in the first overtime, prompting Maxwell to instruct his team to try to be as conservative as possible.
"We were playing for PKs," Maxwell said. "We had someone at the line to sub in to try to kill the clock and Aiden said, 'Nope. We are ending it now.'"
Ethan Bell floated the ball up field to Bryan, who spun away from his defender and fired a left-footed shot inside the right post.
Great Crossing also flipped the script from a 3-2 loss to Madison Central in last year's quarterfinals. The Warhawks reached the region title game in their inaugural season of 2019.