Bearcats bite Islanders in hard fought state quarterfinal

Grand Island (black) and Kearney stand on the field prior to the Class A quarterfinal on May 10, 2017 (NTV News)

Kearney and Grand Island, one of the great rivalries, and even more amplified when they meet at the state tournament.

This one dubbed Central Nebraska El Clasico.

In the first half, a loose ball in front of the Grand Island net found the foot of Matt Stute, who tipped it past Justin Oregon and into the net.

After the first half, Grand Island had 11 shots, but nothing to show for it.n Ultimately, Grand Island out-shot Kearney, 19–7.

"About every aspect of the game we did the things that we set out to do," said Jeremy Jensen, the head coach of GISH boys soccer. "I mean I really felt like we controlled the game from start to finish, but unfortunately, the only thing that matters is the scoreboard tally."

Stute was the lone individual to find the back of the cage, so the Bearcats are moving on with a 1-0 victory.

"This game was won on guts and grit and sometimes there's a lot of different ways to win a soccer game," said Kearney head coach Scott Steinbrook. "Sometimes it's good possessions. Sometimes it's real pretty artistic soccer. This was not that. It was just a lot of guts and a lot of effort. So I'm very, very proud of our guys."

Sophomore Jacob Hardy was a rock between the pipes for the Bearcats, saving all nine shots on net and recording his ninth clean sheet of 2017.

The Bearcats play second seed Creighton Prep on Friday at 6 PM. Grand Island finishes the season at 11–7.

The game was delayed 1 hour and 30 minutes due to bad weather in the Omaha area.

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