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Inspired Knights rally past Perryville 2-1

FARMINGTON — Junior forward Phillip Souden finished off a pinpoint passing play with a tying goal in the 64th minute, sparking a spirited second-half rally by the Farmington boys soccer team on Tuesday night.

Freshman Andres Castro converted a penalty kick less than three minutes later, and the Knights continued to apply offensive pressure with the wind at their backs to secure a 2-1 victory over Perryville.

Farmington (11-9) celebrated Senior Night by upending the No. 1 seed in next week’s Class 2, District 1 tournament. The 4th-seeded Knights posted their seventh consecutive win after starting the season 0-6.

Jimmy Moore netted an assist on the second of two quick touches inside the box. After taking a short feed from Castro, Moore found Souden on the doorstep for a placement inside the right post.

“One thing we were not doing earlier in the year was combination play in front of the goal,” Farmington coach Rusty Sancegraw said. “We have focused more on it lately, and have scored a couple of times on those plays in the past three games.”

The Knights showed a surge of energy from the outset of the second half. Moore just missed connecting with Matt Eaton on a dangerous cross, and a deflected drive later glanced off the pipe for a corner.

Castro was taken down while attempting to dribble past a defender with 13 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in regulation, and buried the go-ahead PK to suddenly put Farmington ahead to stay.

The Knights’ intensity did not subside with a lead. Souden nearly tallied a second goal when his 15-yard chip drifted over the crossbar, and a free kick nearly redirected in moments later after clearing a 3-man wall.

Perryville looked to isolate forward Alex Thieret on a ball from the opposite sideline with about nine minutes to play, but Knights defender Justin Buchheit managed to break up the threat.

The Pirates carried much of the early possession with a favorable breeze, but only generated its first optimal scoring chance in the 33rd minute.

Matt Moran made an outside run and was knocked down while tracking a nifty back-heel pass from Thieret. The sophomore midfielder converted the ensuing penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.

“I felt that if we could get to halftime at 0-0 or even 1-0, that we had a chance because of the good defense we were playing,” Sancegraw said. “I don’t think they had any real threatening shots in the first half.”

Knights senior keeper Josh Thomas made four saves, facing nothing else from tight range. He moved left to smother a long rolling shot from Nate Kinnison as the half expired.

Each team produced eight shots overall, and Perryville had a 3-1 edge in corner kicks.

Farmington will close the regular season at Fredericktown before facing Notre Dame in the first round of district play on Monday.

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