Boys’ soccer in March

Juniors Matt Stute and Hunter Novacek battle for the ball against a Millard North defender.

The Bearcat boys’ soccer team is off to a hot start with a record of four wins and no losses while earning themselves a #7 ranking in the state.

On Mar. 18, the boys opened up their season with a 3-1 win at the Bellevue East invite against the Lincoln High Links. Senior Matt Munch and sophomore Royce Austen were the threats on offense, with Munch putting two in the net and Austen adding a goal and an assist.

At the invite championship, the Bearcats competed against a resilient Omaha Bryan Bears squad. Once the regulation whistle blew, the score was 0-0, and headed straight to a penalty kick shootout. After a total of seven shooters, the boys came out on top against the Bears 5-4, resulting in the 1-0 win.

To break in the new Kearney High soccer field, the boys played the Mustangs of Millard North on Mar. 21. After a scoreless first half, Austen poked one in off an assist from junior Christian Dakan early in the second half. With the Mustangs trying to find the equalizer, a strong Kearney defense led through sophomore goalie Jacob Hardy interfered. The Bearcats posted the shutout, winning 1-0.

Hitting the road, Kearney battled against the Panthers of Norfolk. Although the Bearcats were up 1-0 at halftime, the Panthers clawed their way back to tie the game at two apiece. Overtime brought a goal for each team, keeping the score even, and going into another penalty kick shootout. Hardy blocked two of Norfolk’s four penalty shots, and came out with another win, 4-2 in penalty kicks, 4-3 for the final score. In-game goal scorers were Munch, Austen, and senior Jon Erickson, with assists coming from juniors Sam Straka and Hunter Novacek.

The Bearcats have a busy upcoming schedule, traveling to Lincoln to play the Southwest Silverhawks on Apr.1, hosting the Lexington Minutemen on Apr. 4, and competing in the GNAC tournament in North Platte on Apr. 7-8.