By Denis House For the Times-Tribune
LONDON — After falling down 2-0 to South Laurel in the first seven minutes of Monday night’s 49th District boys’ soccer tournament, the Corbin Redhounds stormed back in the second half to take a thrilling 3-2 win.
“Anyone who has watched us play knows that the first 15 minutes is our Achilles heel,” Corbin coach Armando Cima said. “But we put it all on the field in the second half and played with a lot of heart.”
“It was a heck of an effort from my team,” South Laurel coach Amber Hensley said.
Even though they were underdogs coming into the match, South Laurel certainly didn’t look the part early, scoring in the fourth and seventh minutes on goals from TK Hacker and Ben Tonkel to shock the Redhounds.
“That was huge scoring early, especially since we’ve had trouble scoring,” Hensley said. “We caught them back on their heels.”
Those two goals held up throughout the rest of the half, and South took a 2-0 lead into the break. Hensley cautioned her team that they needed to get at least one more goal.
“I told them that 2-0 is the most dangerous score in soccer,” Hensley said. “We were going to have to put another one in.”
Cima told his team he felt like if they could get a goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half that they could win the game.
“I told them that we had to settle in and play our game,” Cima said.
Corbin (10-6-3) finally scored in the 51st minute when Tulio Canineu beat keeper Zach Allen to the near post to cut the lead to 2-1. The momentum started to swing in Corbin’s favor with that goal, but they were denied the tying goal by the post and a nice save by Allen.
The Redhounds knotted things at 2-2 on a nice goal by Alex Thompson in the 75th minute. Then one minute later, Dylan Browne was able to head in a deflection off a free kick to complete the comeback and give Corbin the 3-2 win.
“We were very fortunate on that third goal,” Cima said.
“I thought Zach (Allen) played a heck of a game,” Hensley said. “And Evan Boling, I can’t say enough about how he played.”
“I’m sure this was a hard loss for South Laurel, but I was happy for them in the way that they played,” Cima said. “We started winning the 50/50 balls with more gusto in the second half and that’s what led to us scoring our first goal.”
The Redhounds will now face the winner of Tuesday night’s North Laurel-Whitley County game Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. for the district title at North Laurel.