WILLIAMSBURG — South Laurel earned a berth into the 13th Region Boys Soccer Tournament, and a date with Corbin in Friday’s 49th District Boys Tournament championship game by defeating host Whitley County, 8-2, in semifinal action on Wednesday.

South Laurel coach Joey Marcum credited Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Sayre as a much-needed wake-up call leading into his team’s first match of the district tournament.

“We came and played probably better than we have in a while — Saturday’s game (against Sayre) was a wake-up call,” he said. “Going into that game, we had a little success recently and we felt like we could just walk in and do what we wanted and we found out we were wrong. But tonight, we came ready to play.”

Zack Smart’s goal 40 seconds into the match set the tone early as the Cardinals (13-6-2) cruised to an easy six-goal victory.

“Getting that first goal that fast helps,” Marcum said. “When you’re the one that’s down one goal that quick, you feel like you’re on your heels. You feel like you’re in a rush. Scoring that goal as early as we did was a massive advantage.”

Smart added another goal during the eighth minute while Quinn Rison’s goal during the 20th minute pushed South Laurel’s lead to 3-0.

“We wanted to make sure to try not to stretch this thing out,” Marcum said. “We wanted to keep pushing and play smart. We needed to get a good game under our belts because tomorrow night is going to be a battle.”

Will McCowan added a goal during the 33rd minute to give the Cardinals a 4-0 edge before seeing Whitley County’s Trevor Jones score at the 32-minute mark to cut the Colonels’ (11-6) deficit to 4-1.

Clayton Stacy added a PK with 30 seconds remaining in the half that gave South Laurel a 5-1 cushion at halftime.

Rison’s second goal of the match during the 52nd minute increased his team’s lead to 6-1, but Whitley County’s Cody Crawford countered with a goal to make the score, 6-2.

Rison recorded his third goal of the match during the 71st minute before seeing Stacy wrap up the victory with a goal at the 78-minute mark.

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