HOPKINSVILLE -- In a Monday game that featured several lead changes and eight goals in the first half, University Heights Academy held on for a 7-4 victory over St. Mary to advance to the All "A" Classic State Tournament.
First-year UHA coach Frankie Thomas knows what this means to the school and the soccer program because he wore the green and yellow himself.
"It means a lot," he said. "Being able to coach these guys that didn't give up in that game. They could have easily rolled over when we got down but they fought and it means a lot going into the Class A State Tournament."
The Blazers took the first lead of the game, but St. Mary scored the next two goals, including one off of a penalty kick to take a 2-1 lead.
The PK came off the foot of Joey Eggemeyer and after the keep came off the line during the first attempt, Eggemeyer made sure the second attempt found the back of the night.
Jack Roof's goal with 18:00 left in the first gave the Vikings the lead, but it wouldn't last long.
UHA's Connor Dill buried a header in the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2. Then, just as they did the first time, the Vikings scored two goals in a matter of minutes to take a 4-2 advantage.
But that would be the last time St. Mary found the back of the net. UHA's Tanner Thomas missed a PK during the first half, but got his revenge with 2:05 left in the first half when he scored to make it 4-3.
Dill sent a ball upfield during stoppage time that found the feet of Will Bryan to tie the game at 4-4 going into halftime.
"I took it from the backline," Dill said. "We've been trying to work from the back. Saw the open pass and I just took it. I felt like that was a big turning point in the game."
The second half was all Blazers, as they netted three goals en route to the victory.
UHA was down for a good portion of the first half and despite several young players in the lineup, Thomas didn't let his squad quit.
"Everybody, when their name was called, they came up and played," he said. "That's what we've been teaching them. To try to be ready to play at any given moment and that's what I just told them in our huddle. Young, old, be ready. We had several players that hadn't been starting this season, they came in and stepped in big."
UHA 7, St. Mary 4
SMHS 4 0 -- 4
UHA 4 3 -- 7
UHA: Elvin Wagner (goal, assist), Connor Dill (goal, 2 assists), Tanner Thomas (2 goals), Will Bryan (2 goals, 1 assist), Scribby Goode (goal)
SMHS: Jack Roof (2 goals), Michael Lurtz (goal), Joey Eggemyer (goal)