December 27th, 2017

No. 5 story of 2017: St. X soccer back on top

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


No. 5 story of 2017: St. X soccer back on top
The Tigers with the state championship trophy / photo by Conor Revell

The Louisville Catholic Sports Network has chosen its top 10 stories of 2017 and is posting them in a series starting Dec. 19 with an honorable mention list. LCSN will have a story each day with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will run our top story of the year Dec. 31st.

Perhaps the best high school soccer coach to ever stepped foot on the sidelines is finally back on top after five long years.

St. Xavier head soccer coach Andy Schulten and his Tigers won their first state title in five years this past November when his team beat Daviess County 3-0 in the 2017 KHSAA state championship game.

“Persistence allowed us to get back on top,” Schulten said. “The last couple of years we have had some key injuries at some inopportune times that have taken some key players out during tournament time. We lost on penalty kicks one year and overtime another year. But we’re not making excuses for that.

“This year we happened to have a very healthy team. We rotated around 50 players this season to make sure we had fresh legs. And, we’re still a beat up team. Michael Hagerty is the Kentucky Defensive Player of the Year and could barely walk after the last game. These guys stuck it out when times got tough. I’m just happy for them.”

St. X (23-3-2) has won 13 soccer state titles in school history, more than any other program in the state of Kentucky.

“Coming into St. X as a freshman, I knew that we had a very special team,” St. X senior goalkeeper Haydon Korfhage said. “Our goal was to win state. But I didn’t know if that would happen because I didn’t know good the other teams were going to be. This is an awesome memory and I’m glad to have won one with my boys. I can say I won my last high school game.”

It was the second time these two teams had met this season, the Tigers won the regular season matchup 6-1 back in August.

Case Cox and Conner George both had a goal and an assist for St. X while Wyatt Goodin had the other goal.

“It means everything to win this game,” Cox said. “At the start of the season our goal was to bring the program back and we knew we had the team to do it. I have to give credit to the senior class. The reason why me and the other juniors were the goalscorers was because we had a group of great senior leaders. They led us to this point and back.”

The Tigers finished the season with a 23-3-2 record, a 21-0-1 record against in-state competion, their only Kentucky tie was against Trinity in the regular season.

St. X got revenge later and had a dramatic 2-1 win over Trinity in the Seventh Region semifinals where George found himself undefended along the left sideline with just 61 seconds to play and lofted a shot from 25 yards out that had just enough arc and curve to find its way into the upper corner of the net to give his team the dramatic win. .

“I was open, even though they had been marking us well all night, so I just sent it and let it fly,” George said grinning. “When I hit it, I thought it looked good, but oh my thank God it went in. We got a lot of chances in the second half and we were due. I’m just glad mine found its way in there.”

What a year it was for the Tigers and Schulten finally found his way back to the top of the mountain in the soccer world. 

 

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