The Rising Sun Shiners opened defense of its Ohio River Valley Conference boys soccer title with a 4-3 win over Switzerland County on Thursday, Aug. 24th in Vevay.
Jake Bovard led the way with a hat trick.
Bovard scored the opening goal at the 35:58 mark with a header off an assist from Zac Brokaw.
The Pacers evened the score at the 29:58 mark as Kenyon Bledsoe found Keegan Morris for the score.
Morris put the Pacers ahead 2-1 with 16:58 left in the half
The Shiners had several scoring chances by Brokaw and Brent Webb but Pacer keeper Kyle Whitham was up the challenge.
Shiner keeper Matt Martini had several saves and defender Justis White prevented a Pacer goal when Martini left the goal area for a ball in the closing minute of the half.
Switzerland County led 2-1 at the half.
Rising Sun evened the game with 27:40 left in the game as Bovard picked up the second of three goals after Whitham came out but couldn’t close the gap. James Bounds got the assist.
The Shiner attack continued with shots by Webb and Brokaw clanging off the post and freshman Landon Cole had some good looks.
Coach Robert Kelnhofer credited the Shiner defense of Jaydin Parsons, Bryce Abner, Jason McClellan and White for coming out in the second half ready to keep Switzerland County at two and let the offense go forward.
Bovard’s third goal came with 18:55 remaining.
Rising Sun’s final goal came off the foot of Brokaw. After missing several shots in the first half, Brokaw moved to the left wing and scored off a pass from Webb. The quick attack started with a long throw by Martini. The Shiners led 4-2 with 9:16 remaining.
Switzerland County battled to the end adding a goal off the foot of Bledsoe who curled an unstoppable ball to the far post with two minutes remaining.
Rising Sun out shot the Pacers 32-11.
It was the first of a possible three meetings this season between the two teams. They will meet again in Rising Sun’s home final on Sept. 27th. They could meet again in the sectional at Jac-Cen-Del a week later.
The Shiners returned home Tuesday to host Milan and visit South Ripley Wednesday. The will host South Dearborn on Wednesday at 7 p.m. following a girls contest against South Ripley.