Paintsville, Ky. — Goalkeeper Ryland Brady stopped two shots and Cooper Smith booted the game winning penalty kick as Lawrence Co. knocked off Prestonsburg 2-1 to win the 15th Region soccer championship Thursday at Johnson Central.
2023 15th Region Champions
Seniors- Blake Maynard, Cooper Smith, Micheal Preston
Juniors- Ryland Brady, Jonathan Mills, Alex DeSario, Andrew Vinson, Gavin Wells, Landon Frazier, Landon Fairchild, Gabe Vinson
Sophomores– Boedy Maynard, Owen Pack, Caden Sweeney, Aiden Mynhier, Zachary Fannin
Freshmen– Colton New and Jack Cline
Coaches– Scott Johnson and Aaron Wellman
Blake Maynard scored the opening goal of the game on an assist from Andrew Vinson with about 12 minutes left in the first half.
Prestonsburg would tie it up early in the second half on a penalty kick and both defenses were stout the rest of the way and the game was tied at 1 all heading to overtime.
Lawrence Co. goalkeeper Ryland Brady had eight saves in regulation.
They played two 5 minute overtime periods with neither team scoring and it was headed to penalty kicks to decide the 15th region title.
Bulldog Senior Blake Maynard scored and Prestonsburg scored to tie it back up.
Andrew Vinson scored and Brady stopped the next Blackout shot.
Aiden Myhnier scored to give the Bulldogs a two goal lead. Prestonsburg scored to get within one.
Gavin Wells was stopped by the Pburg goalie but Ryland answered with another stop and then
Cooper Smith stepped calm and collected and found the back of the net to send the Bulldog players and fans into a frenzy.
Blake Maynard scored his 181st goal in the victory which is second all time in Kentucky behind Caleb Wilson who had 187 goals.
With the win the SoccerDawgs improved to 12-5 and will advance to the State Tournament for the second time in three years.
The Bulldogs will play the winner Russell and Ashland who play for the 16th Region championship on Saturday at Ashland.
That game will be played on Monday at either Ashland or Russell.
In the semifinal win over Johnson Central there was some stats that were omitted and we wanted to correct them.
Landon Fairchild and Andrew Vinson each had one assist in addition to Michael Preston’s in the win over the Golden Eagles.
Lawrence Co. Head Coach Scott Johnson
“… It was a marathon of a match. We had a great first half but PBurg really took over the second half and tied things up. We held on and took it to overtime and both teams had good chances but couldn’t connect with the back of the net.
“…Ryland Brady played out of his mind and carried that mentality into PKs. He had two saves and got his hands on another to give us the lead. Cooper Smith walked up to take his PK with ice in his veins and netted the final goal. That put us up 4-2 and sealed it. Blake Maynard had the only goal in regulation.”