Boys’ soccer advances regional semifinal


Timmy Nguyen

Senior Darshan Ghayal waits for a pass.

After a scoreless first half senior Darshan Ghayal scored off a through-ball assist from sophomore Sam Leighton to lead the boys’ varsity soccer team past Lake Highland Prep 1-0 in the Class 2A regional quarterfinals Thursday night.

“Sam Leighton flicked it over, and I just made sure I ran onto it and my first touch was good enough,” Ghayal said.

After the goal, the Wildcats switched to a more defensive tempo, passing much more passively and attempting only two more shots on goal the rest of the contest.The game was a back and forth affair with both team attempting to out physical the other.

“There were a lot of two-hand shoves, physical play down the sidelines,” senior Brad Mooney said. “It was really uncalled for, but that’s probably why they ended up with three red cards.”

The Wildcats’ strategy clearly angered the Highlanders, who were further antagonized by sophomore Nick Burgess, who seemed to be in the middle of every confrontation and card drawn. Three Highlander players drew red-card ejections before Burgess also was thrown out of the game.

The Wildcats next play arch-rival Edgewood, which pulled off an overtime upset over favored Bishop Moore. The regional Tuesday night semifinal will mark the third time the teams have faced each other this season.

With no key injuries or suspensions, the Wildcats seem to peaking at exactly the right time.