In a game that featured several lead changes and eight goals in the first half, University Heights Academy soccer held on for a 7-4 victory over St. Mary to advance to the All "A" Classic State Tournament.

For the first time since 2013, the Blazers get through semi-state and will represent the Second Region in the state tournament in Frankfort.

First-year coach Frankie Thomas knows what this means to the school and the soccer program because he wore the green and yellow himself.

"It means a lot," he said. "Being able to coach these guys that didn't give up in that game. They could have easily rolled over when we got down but they fought and it means a lot going into the Class A State Tournament."

The Blazers took the first lead of the game, but St. Mary scored the next two goals, including one off of a penalty kick to take a 2-1 lead.

UHA's Connor Dill buried a header in the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2 then the Vikings scored two goals in a matter of minutes to take a 4-2 lead, but that would be the last time St. Mary found the back of the net.

Dill said he knew a Viking was going to try for the ball and he had to get to it first.

"I feel like that was a goal that was just a 50-50 ball, whoever wanted it the most," he said. "I went in there and I wanted to put it away so I went and did it."

Tanner Thomas missed a PK during the first half but got his revenge with 2:05 left in the first half when he scored to make it 4-3.

Dill sent a ball upfield during stoppage time that found the feet of Will Bryan to tie the game at 4-4 going into halftime.

"I took it from the backline," he said. "We've been trying to work from the back. (I) saw the open pass and I just took it. I felt like that was a big turning point in the game."

The second half was all Blazers as they netted three goals en route to the victory to cement their spot in Frankfort.

UHA was down for a good portion of the first half and despite several young players in the lineup, Thomas didn't let his squad quit.

"Everybody, when their name was called, they came up and played," he said. "That's what we've been teaching them. To try to be ready to play at any given moment and that's what I just told them in our huddle. Young, old, be ready. We had several players that hadn't been starting this season, they came in and stepped in big."

The Blazers will play the winner of the 5th/6th Region game Sept 21 in Frankfort but before that, UHA will have to get by several stout opponents.

UHA plays at 7 p.m. Wednesday at home against Hopkinsville then it hits the road for another district battle with Christian County Thursday at the Stadium of Champions.

UHA 7, St. Mary 4

SMHS 4 0--4

UHA 4 3--7

UHA: Elvin Wagner (goal, assist), Connor Dill (goal, 2 assists), Tanner Thomas (2 goals), Will Bryan (2 goals, 1 assist), Scribby Goode (goal)

SMHS: Jack Roof (2 goals), Michael Lurtz (goal), Joey Eggemyer (goal)

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