Hunter Clark scored three goals to help Daviess County capture a 6-0 victory over Owensboro Catholic in the first round of the 9th District Boys' Soccer Tournament Tuesday night at Deer Park.
With the win, the Panthers advanced to take on Owensboro in Thursday's district title game.
"That's a first-round district result you want to get for the tournament," said DC coach Doug Sandifer, whose squad will play in its 19th consecutive region tournament. "Get out of here, hopefully everybody is fairly healthy from it. We got a shutout and a good, solid defensive effort from our group."
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DC (15-2-2) also got one goal and an assist from Jacob Boling, while Neh Reh and Tanner Andersen each notched one goal. Hayden Glover, Hayden Boswell, Declan Armistead and Carson Thomas were credited with one helper apiece.
Clark opened the game's scoring in the 19th minute, then later gave his team a 2-0 lead with a rocket shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box that found the back right corner of the net.
DC added four more goals after intermission to put the game away, capped off by Clark's third goal with 3:20 remaining.
Clark credited good teamwork for his ability to get open and score often.
"I think the whole team played really good together," he said. "Defense, we all communicated. We found the back of the net."
Daviess County added to its two-goal halftime lead with a score from Reh eight minutes into the second half, followed by a Boling header at the 26:44 mark and Andersen's goal five minutes later.
"The second half, I thought we were better with our ball possession and moving the ball, and it opened up some opportunities for some other goals," Sandifer said. "Overall, I'm pleased with the way we played."
Sandifer commended his players for their balanced attack, as well.
"It makes us more dangerous," he said. "We have more than one or two guys that can put the ball in the back of the net.
"We need those other guys to step up, because teams are obviously going to key on Hunter and Jacob and try to shut them down, so we need other guys to put themselves in positions to score and take care of it when they get in those spots."
The Panthers now turn their attention to Owensboro on Thursday, with the 3rd Region Tournament to follow.
"You're guaranteed two more games, that's all it means right now," Sandifer said of Tuesday's victory. "Obviously, winning a district championship's important to us. That'll be our next goal, and we'll look at the region after that. It's an opportunity to keep your season going for at least two more games, and that's what we wanted to do with this game tonight."
Caleb Ranallo finished with 13 saves for Owensboro Catholic (8-9-1).