Andrew Saltsman was on the money Tuesday night.

The multifaceted Owensboro High School senior scored two first-half goals to fuel the Red Devils' 3-1 conquest of Apollo in the semifinals of the 9th District Boys' Soccer Tournament before a big crowd at Deer Park.

OHS (15-4-2) will battle perennial power and defending champion Daviess County (15-2-2) at 7 p.m. on Thursday for the championship.

See OHS/Page B3

"We had a week off from soccer and our guys were really anxious to play tonight," Red Devils coach Ryan Haley said. "We were really on in the first half. I thought we were pretty sharp at both ends.

"We wanted to score that first goal and we were able to do that -- I'm really proud of our team."

That first goal was a laser from the left wing off the foot of sophomore Josh Head, who provided Owensboro a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the contest.

Saltsman, just two assists shy of the OHS career record, went into goal-scoring mode after that -- scoring in the 13th minute from point-blank range off a sterling cross from senior Grayson McFarland, and getting his second goal just eight minutes later off an assist from junior Hser Thaw.

"Andrew brings it every time," Haley said. "He has great vision, his distribution is outstanding, and his shot is effective with either foot.

"He always has a positive attitude, on and off the field, and I think his personality sort of rolls over on everybody else -- he's just an outstanding player for us."

Down three goals at intermission, the Eagles (10-9-2) continued to battle in the second half -- and senior Jacob Gillim's 27-yard goal from the right wing pulled Apollo within 3-1 with 10:35 to play -- but the first-half deficit proved too much to overcome.

"I wish we could have been a little bit better in the first half," Apollo coach Ryan Poirier said. "I'm glad we showed the fight we showed in the second half and kept playing. That's one thing about this team -- I know I'm going to get their best effort every time we play.

"It was a good season for us. I couldn't be happier with the way this bunch responded."

Owensboro outshot Apollo by a 19-5 margin. Eagles senior goalkeeper Matthew Marks made 10 saves and Red Devils senior keeper Radley Worth saved four shots.

Now, the Red Devils will challenge DC -- a team they split with in the regular season -- for district supremacy in 2019.

"We need to play two halves of soccer," Haley said. "Owensboro hasn't had a district championship in a long time (2012), and it's something we're going to try to bring home this year."

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