BEREA – The Eagles weren’t looking to the future.
They certainly knew, however, that a victory over Model Laboratory on Tuesday at home would set up another championship showdown with Madison Central (18-0-1).
âIt’s always an event when we play (them), but it’s something more when you have the chance to play against the 2/3 ranked and unbeaten team,â Southern coach Andrew Lunsford. “I don’t think our kids will have any problem getting excited for this.”
The Eagles had no problem organizing this game.
Freshman Micah Whitaker scored two goals, while Ru Lemmer and Parker Coyle both scored one goal and one assist as Southern beat Model Laboratory (8-8-1), 5-0, in semi-final of the 44th district tournament.
Josh Tripp also scored and Austin Shepherd recorded the shutout for the Eagles.
Central and Southern (11-5-2) will meet in the championship game at 8 p.m. Thursday in Berea.
The Eagles and Indians have made the finals in each of the past eight seasons, with Southern winning three straight titles.
Whitaker scored twice in the first 20 minutes on Tuesday against Model, once on an assist from Coyle, the other on an assist from Lemmer.
The freshman has six goals this season.
“He has the potential to be a really special player,” Lunsford said of Whitaker. “He’s the guy who’s always in the right place at the right time – and it takes a lot of work to be that guy. It paid off tonight.”
Southern had a 3-0 halftime lead after Tripp redirected a pass out of the air and into the net from Model.
Lemmer scored his own rebound early in the second half, giving him the team’s 19 best goals this season, and Coyle added a goal minutes later.
The Patriots continued to fight, but Shepherd made several big saves late to secure his fifth shutout of the season.
“I always say if you get into the habit of not giving up goals then you get into the habit of not giving up goals,” Lunsford said. “They can’t win if they don’t score.”
Central won the only regular season encounter with Southern, claiming a 1-0 victory Aug. 31 in Richmond.